ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE

Everyone needs an Estate Plan

Everyone needs an estate plan. It’s not about net worth, having small children, or being rich and there is no specific dollar amount that tells you that you need to have an estate plan. An estate plan is a plan that will ensure that your wishes are clearly communicated after your time, and is the only way that you can speak after you’re gone. It shows your heirs that you cared enough about them to not burden them with your unfinished business. Doing an estate plan is the biggest and most lasting gift you can give to the people and causes that mean the most to you. A well-designed estate plan should change and evolve as your family and life change and evolve.

WHAT IS A PROBATE?

Probate is the legal procedure in which a probate court determines the validity of a will or the distribution of a decedent’s assets, in the absence of a will. The court also helps settle the decedent’s financial liabilities. The items subject to probate are called Probate Assets. These include any property owned individually at the time of death and it passes to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will or laws of the state. The Non-probate assets include the property that are not mentioned in the will.

Because the process can get complex at times, estate planning and probate lawyers come to your rescue by creating wills and offering their expert advice for distributing various inheritance assets. An expert estate planning lawyer understands that estate planning and probate is never based on “one-size-fits-all” principle. They focus on creating customized plan based on your requirements along with guiding you by offering legal advice. They can put to use their knowledge and experience to help you take an informed decision, which is in accordance with the legal procedures.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS?

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HOW CAN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY HELP YOU?

Our specialist Estate Planning Attorney assist you in the following ways:

Will

A will (simple or complex) outlines what will happen to someone’s estate and who will care for surviving minor children. It is the mainstay of estate plan and the absence of a will can lead to courts take a decision on the behalf of the decedent. Creation of a will is to be assigned to an expert Will and Trust Attorney. With their guidance, you can opt for effective estate planning and chalk out how your estate will be divided among your beneficiaries. Apart from creating a will, our lawyers also ensure that your heirs get their share with minimum tax liabilities.

Living Will And Health Care Power Of Attorney

A Living will, or an advanced health directive takes into consideration an individual’s wishes in case they become incapacitated. The will included directions on what kind of health care the individual will opt for, whether or not they want to resuscitate and how to manage pain. It also specifies who will manage finances and take the health care decision for you, when you are unable to take the same for yourself. Planning for incapacity in advance also helps avoid costly expenses that might be incurred.

Trust

After the creation of a trust, a single party (trustee) can manage or hold the assets for the benefit of another party (beneficiary). One of the main advantages of having a properly constructed trust is to avoid certain taxes. This helps you preserve your wealth for your future generations and also to avoid probate.

Power Of Attorney

Power of attorney provides an individual the legal right to act on the behalf of another person. Once you provide the authority to an appointee, they’ll be in charge of handling your financial affairs in the event you become mentally or physically incapable of doing it yourself. With a clear power of attorney in place, the court will not appoint anyone else to take the role.

Probate Avoidance

Probate can be simple or complex, but most of the time it is a lengthy, costly and public process. Depending on the various factors, it can take anything from 8 months minimum up to a year and more as it is a court process. This is due to the fact that the law requires probate to remain open for that duration so that creditors can file their claims. This is the reason why people try and avoid probate. There are several ways to avoid probate and one of them is setting up a living trust and meticulous estate planning. Another is to designate beneficiaries on certain types of assets. A probate attorney can help you weigh the pros and the cons of each of the methods so that you take the right decision.