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July 27, 2009
"What is probate?" is a question I hear on a regular basis. In a nutshell, probate is the legal process used when a person dies. A series of events occur to tie up loose ends and distribute inheritance assets to heirs or beneficiaries. Everything decedents own must be accounted for and outstanding bills and taxes paid before assets can be distributed.
Let's further probe the question of "what is probate?" Probating estates is required within all 50 states of the Union. Probate is governed by state law, but the process can be different within each county of the state. This non-uniform standard can create confusion; particularly, if the estate administrator resides in another state or county and is not familiar with probate laws.
June 07, 2009
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
April 30, 2009
An Administrator must be appointed to oversee the estate of a person who has died. Designation can occur by naming the individual in a legal Will or trust. If no estate planning occurs prior to death, everything the decedent owns is transferred to probate. During this process, a judge will appoint an Administrator. This could be a relative, friend or outsider such as an attorney or professional estate planner.
The Administrator generally works with a probate attorney to ensure all documents are properly filed. When the decedent's estate is held in probate, the estate executor must present a copy of the death certificate to the court and legally record the death. Trusts do not pass through probate and follow a different protocol. Trusts are generally handled by the estate planning service that established the trust.
January 25, 2009
Estate planning is important regardless of your age, income, assets or health. Many people procrastinate about planning for the distribution of assets in the event of their death. Some people feel they don't have enough money or personal belongings to justify executing a Will. Others think they are too young or in too good of health to start planning for their death. However, estate planning involves more than deciding who you want to inherit your belongings when you die.
At minimum, estate planning requires executing basic legal documents to protect your loved ones. Everyone should draft a Last Will and Testament; Power of Attorney; and Living Will or Healthcare Proxy.
January 15, 2009
An estate planning lawyer specializes in helping people create a plan to protect their assets. Estate planning involves executing legal documents such as trusts and wills; designating beneficiaries and the assets they will inherit; and appointing estate administrators to oversee your estate.
An estate planning lawyer can also ssist in executing a Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy; establish guardianship for minor children; and designate payable-on-death and transfer-on-death beneficiaries to transfer real estate, financial holdings, and other valuable assets.
October 23, 2008
Beneficiaries refer to people who are entitled to assets owned by a person who has died. Beneficiaries typically include spouses, children, and direct lineage heirs such as sisters and brothers. Organizations such as charities or educational institutions can also be designated beneficiaries.
Anyone can be named as beneficiaries on property titles to real estate, automobiles, recreational vehicles, motor crafts and financial holdings such as bank accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies.
September 08, 2008
Probate real estate investing involves buying property from estates held in probate. When someone dies, all of their worldly belongings are transferred to probate. An estate executor oversees the decedent's estate until all financial transactions are completed. In some cases, probate can take several years to settle; leaving beneficiaries with a heavy financial burden.
Probate real estate investing requires a visit to the local courthouse and a bit of detective work. Investors can locate potential real estate deals by searching probate records and reading the decedent's Last Will and Testament. Wills are a matter of public record and can be viewed by anyone who is interested. The exception to this rule is when a Revocable Living Trust is executed.
July 30, 2008
Probate is the legal process used to transfer property, real estate, personal belongings and bank account holdings. Depending on the size of the decedent's estate and family dynamics, probate can tie assets up in the court system for six months to three years. If family disputes arise, legal fees can end up costing more than the estate is worth.
Part of the problem with probate is that it involves government agencies and attorneys. When someone dies it is almost guaranteed that many people will want to stick their fingers in the inheritance pie.