Will Estate Planning
Will estate planning is an important aspect of life. Many people do not understand the consequences of failing to make preparations for death. Reality is no one makes it out alive. If you do not engage in estate planning, the responsibility will rest with your family. Worse yet, your estate management could be turned over to complete strangers!
Will estate planning involve executing legal documents which outline your final wishes. The Last Will and Testament is used to appoint an estate administrator who will oversee your estate. This person will have many duties to perform. They should be good with finances and able to make difficult decisions under stress
Depending on the size of your estate, you might need to retain the services of a probate attorney. Lawyers will need to submit certain documents to the court and ensure probate laws are followed. If family disputes arise which the probate executor is unable to diffuse, a probate lawyer can mediate the situation.
Estate planners can offer advice for keeping assets out of probate. Unless these measures are taken, everything you own will be transferred to probate. This is the legal process for validating the Will and obtaining a value of your property. Probate is also used to determine rightful heirs of your estate.
If you die intestate (without a Will), a probate judge will assign an administrator to handle your estate. Courts are overwhelmed with cases and the probate process can take several months to complete. Will estate planning can prevent probate from occurring and save your loved ones time and money.
Executing a Will is especially important for individuals with minor children. Guardianship is established through the will and allows decedent's to establish trust funds for their care. Children cannot be willed through a Last Will. Instead, a legal guardian must be designated. If not, the children might be placed in foster care even if relatives request guardianship.
Will estate planning also allows you to establish healthcare proxies. These legal documents let you express what type of healthcare treatments you do or do not want should you become critically ill.
Healthcare workers are required by law to engage in rescesitation, nourishment, and life support unless legal directives are provided. Healthcare proxies take less than 30 minutes to establish. If you do not want this type of treatment, you need to speak up while you can.
Power of Attorney can be established through will estate planning. POA grants authority to a designated agent to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Designating power of attorney authority is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
Before designating a POA agent, take time to discuss the position with the person. Your power of attorney agent should be responsible, financially sound and able to make tough decisions. They should be able to put your needs before their own.
Will estate planning costs range from a few dollars to several thousand. Much depends on what you own and how much it is worth. If your estate is valued under $50,000 you can establish will estate planning by downloading forms from the Internet or purchasing preprinted forms from an office supply store.
If your estate is valued over $50,000 consult with probate lawyers or estate planners to discuss available options and fees. Prices generally start at around $595.
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Published on June 07, 2009 at 03:10 AM
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