A lot of people think that estate planning is something that is only important for very wealthy people. They think that you do not need to work with an attorney to map out a comprehensive strategy unless you are a multimillionaire. In reality, this is patently false, and we will look at the subject in this post. Estate Taxes Part of this misconception comes from the little bits and pieces of information that folks hear about estates and taxation. Generally speaking, an inheritance is not … [Read more...] about Is Estate Planning Only for the Rich?
The executor of a will is the individual that will handle the estate administration tasks. It is not a ceremonial role that you bestow upon someone as a sign of respect, and we will look at the details here. Selecting an Executor If you decide to record your final wishes with regard to asset transfers in a will, you can name an executor when you are drawing up the document. The will is going to be admitted to probate after your passing, which is a court supervised process. This court would … [Read more...] about What Does the Executor of a Will Do?
The most common estate planning document is the simple will. If you express your final wishes in a will, the executor that you name would admit the document to probate after your death. This is a court supervised proceeding. During probate, creditors are notified about the decedent’s passing, and final debts are paid. The assets are prepared for distribution to the heirs, and the court determines the validity of the will. If everything goes smoothly and the situation is not especially … [Read more...] about An Overview of the Probate Process
A lot of people do not consider the possibility of using a trust because they make assumptions about the complexity level. In this post, we will share some basic information about living trust administration to demystify the process so you can make informed decisions. Ongoing Control While You Are Living One commonly held misconception about trusts is the idea that you surrender control of assets that you convey into a trust. There are irrevocable trusts, and though there are limited exceptions, … [Read more...] about Living Trust Administration Basics
We recently reported about the closing of the intestate estate of the musical artist Prince. He passed away in 2016, and the estate was stalled in probate for six years in large part because of the fact that there was a dispute about the degree of estate tax responsibility. You may have read about the estate planning decisions of other celebrities over the years. Why does the press have access to this information? If it is disclosed to them, can anyone find out the details about any … [Read more...] about How Do You Keep Your Estate Planning Decisions Confidential?
The process of probate can be a factor when an estate is being administered. It serves a purpose, but it is time consuming, and the beneficiaries do not receive inheritances while the estate is being probated by the court. This is one of the drawbacks, and the cost factor is another one. Probate expenses include the executor’s payment, possible accounting and legal fees, court costs, litigation and appraisal charges, and incidentals that drive down the value of the estate. Since probate is … [Read more...] about Will My Estate Go Through Probate?
When you are planning your estate, you should understand the estate administration process that will commence after your passing. This will sometimes involve probate, and we will provide some important facts about this process in this post. Court Supervision Most people are aware of the fact that an executor is the person that will eventually distribute inheritances when a will is used as an asset transfer vehicle. The executor is not allowed to administer the estate without any type of … [Read more...] about Why Do Some People Avoid Probate?
If someone asks you to be the executor of their estate, you are naturally going have questions if you have no knowledge of the process. In this post, we will break it down to some simple steps to give you an idea of the tasks that must be completed along the way. Produce the Document You have to get your hands on the document before you can do anything else. Presumably, the decedent would have let you know where you can find the will. Of course, if this never happened, you have to scour … [Read more...] about Follow These Steps to Get Through Probate
A living trust is a highly effective estate planning tool that can be the ideal asset transfer vehicle. When you establish a living trust, it is important to fund the trust right away, because it serves no purpose if the assets that comprise your estate have not been conveyed into the trust. All different types of resources can be signed over to the trust, including your bank and brokerage accounts, your home and other real property, commodities, antiques and other valuable collectibles, and … [Read more...] about What Happens to Assets Outside of My Living Trust?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of American adults are unprepared from an estate planning perspective. You would expect younger people to be remiss, but they are not alone. Just under 50 percent of older folks that are 55 years of age and older have wills or trusts. If you pass away without a will or a trust, you would die intestate, and we will take a look at the way that an intestate estate is handled in this post. Probate-Free Asset Transfers When a will has been executed, the document … [Read more...] about What Happens If You Pass Without a Will?