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April 19, 2011
When family disputes over inheritance arise it can quickly escalate into irreparable damage. Emotions are already running high when a loved one dies. Incidents that could easily be worked out under normal circumstances are magnified during periods of grief.
Family disputes over inheritance often occur when a relative dies without executing a Will. However, when a person dies intestate the estate must be settled according to state probate laws. Heirs can file claims against the estate if they have evidence they are entitled to specific property. They can fight all day over who should receive what, but if a Will is not in place there isn't much they can do about distribution of property.
September 20, 2010
Real estate investing in California probate properties can be a profitable niche for those who take time to learn how the practice works. Probate real estate refers to property owned by a decedent whose estate is suspended in probate court. Probate is required to settle estate matters and distribute inheritance property.
Although a profitable venture, real estate investing in California probate requires more time than buying other types of investment properties. Investors should have a good understanding of how the probate process works and how to submit offers on probated realty.
January 07, 2010
Federal estate tax is slated to be abolished in January 2010, but Senate Democrats are likely to pass a temporary measure early in the year to reinstate death tax and make it retroactive to January 1st.
At present, estate tax is assessed at the rate of 45-percent for inheritances valued above $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for couples. Smaller estates are exempt from taxation. However, as the estate tax hangs in limbo, beneficiaries may soon find they will be charged a capital gains tax on inheritance property gifted through decedent's last will and testament.
December 19, 2009
Heir is the term used to reference an individual entitled to inheritance property. Legal heirs can include surviving spouse, biological or adopted children, and direct lineage relatives such as mother, father, sister or brother.
Each heir should be listed within last will and testament along with specific inheritance property they will receive. When decedents elect to disinherit heirs they should include a disinheritance statement within their last will. This provides evidence to the probate court the decedent knew the heir was alive, but intentionally chose to leave them out of their Will.
November 07, 2009
The word 'estate' refers to items owned by individuals who have died. An estate can consist of the decedent's home, car, personal belongings and valuable assets such as jewelry or collectable artwork.
When a person dies their estate must be settled through a process known as probate. The exception is when decedents establish a trust. Many types of trusts exist. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Trusts are generally reserved for estates valued over $100,000; however, strategies exist for smaller estates to avoid probate.
November 04, 2009
Wills probate refers to a legal last will and testament executed by a person who had died. During probate, the last will must be validated and the estate settled before inheritance assets can be distributed to designated heirs.
An estate administrator is appointed in wills probate. This individual can be a spouse, family member, friend, attorney, estate planner or financial expert that specializes in handling probate cases.
October 10, 2009
'Decedents' is a term used in legal documents to reference persons who have died. It is most commonly used in last wills, revocable trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts. Wills and trusts are used to bequeath inheritance assets to beneficiaries.
Decedents can give their personal belongings, financial assets and real estate holdings to whomever they wish. Most individuals gift assets to their spouse, children or direct lineage relatives such as sisters, brothers, mother, father, nieces and nephews.
September 14, 2009
Executing a legal Will is one of the greatest gifts you can leave your loved ones. A Will is used to express burial preferences and name beneficiaries to receive property and personal belongings. The Last Will and Testament gives you the opportunity to have the final say in the event of your death.
A Will is also used to appoint an estate administrator. Most often this person is a family member or close personal friend. Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, some people retain a professional estate planner or probate attorney to manage their estate. It is a good idea to use the services of a neutral third party if family strife exists.
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 01, 2009
A life insurance trust is used to protect insurance proceeds from estate taxation. Beneficiaries are designated within the policy and distribution schedules are established. The life insurance policy is placed inside the trust and managed by a Trustee.
A life insurance trust consists of a Trustor, Trustee and beneficiaries. The Trustor is the person who establishes the trust. The Trustee is the person who manages the trust. This person is designated through the policyholder's Will.