Under ideal circumstances, you will know well ahead of time if someone plans to nominate you to be the executor in a Last Will and Testament. Of course we all know that life doesn't always present us with ideal circumstances. If you have recently been notified that someone died and nominated you to be the executor of the estate in his or her Will, you may be wondering what to do next. To begin with, you need to know that you are not required to accept the position of executor. You are free to … [Read more...] about So You’ve Been Named the Executor of A Will. Now What?
Estate and Trust Settlement
Many who have yet to create an estate plan tell themselves “When I become rich and famous I’ll do it because then I will really need one”. Surprisingly, many of the rich and famous still don’t get around to it, creating a legal nightmare when they die. Consider the following short list of rich and famous persons who failed to leave behind an effective estate plan. Abraham Lincoln: Despite being a lawyer himself, even the 16th President of the United States died intestate. Jimi Hendrix: … [Read more...] about Dont End Up Rich, Famous, and Intestate
If you are one of the millions of Americans who has failed to create an estate plan, you are officially signed up for the government estate plan. When you fail to execute as much as a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust prior to your death, your estate will be handled according to the government’s rules and laws since you are considered to have died intestate. So how does the government estate plan work? For starters, except for the most modest estates, it is likely that everything you … [Read more...] about The Government Estate Plan for Intestacy
When serving as executor of an estate, you are responsible for identifying legitimate creditor claims. If you didn’t know better, you might accidently pay claims that aren’t due, such as student loans. The liability for student loans in canceled at death. If you’re responsible for settling an estate (or trust) be sure to consult a probate – estate planning attorney for good advice. Executor Duties This is a list of common executor duties in California: Lodge the will and file … [Read more...] about Student Loans and Death
A trust creates a special relationship between people and property that the trust owns. The person who created the trust, called the trustor, transfers ownership of his or her property to the trust as the new owner. Trustors are also sometimes referred to as settlors and trust makers. The trustor also states who shall receive the benefit of that property, a person known as a beneficiary, and who shall manage the property for the trust, known as the trustee. But can a trustor also be a … [Read more...] about Trustors, Trustees and Beneficiaries – The Same Person?
Letters of administration and letters testamentary are specific types of legal documents that are used in the probate process, the court-based legal process in which property that a deceased person owned is transferred to others. The laws and procedures involved in the issuance of these letters of differ by the type of probate procedure involved. The following discussion discusses California's procedures. The Probate Process: Once a person dies with either a will or no will or trust, someone … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Terminology: Letters of Administration and Letters Testamentary
Trusts have been around for hundreds of years; specifically, the living trust gained popularity in the 1970s as a probate avoidance technique. Today, living trusts are often used as a foundational document in estate plans. We’ve found that many folks have both questions and misconceptions about the living trust; so, in this three part series, we answer your living trust questions. Will I always be the trustee of my living trust? You can be the trustee of your trust as long as you are … [Read more...] about Answers To Your Living Trust Questions (2 of 3)
When a parent dies, the surviving family members are typically at a loss as to what needs to be done legally, to handle their assets. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started on what you need to do when a parent dies. The best advice, though, is to first consult with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney to make sure you have covered everything. He or she can help guide you through the process, comply with the many legal requirements of estate administration and help you … [Read more...] about Steps to Take When a Parent Dies
When a loved one dies, the money and property included in their estate need to be distributed to their heirs. In many cases, the estate must go through the probate process in order for the assets to be properly distributed. The basic probate process requires completion of several steps in order to close probate and make those distributions. This article will explain the 7 basic steps required in the California probate process. Before the probate process can formally begin, you need a personal … [Read more...] about 7 Basic Steps of the Probate Process
Trust attorneys will agree that a trust is a valuable estate planning tool. Trusts are useful in minimizing estate taxes and in avoiding costly probate. There are actually many benefits. But, when it comes to trust administration, it is equally important to understand what is involved and to select the right person or entity to serve as your trustee. The legal definition of a trust Trusts are basically fiduciary agreements between a trustee and the grantor, who is the person making the … [Read more...] about The Basics of Trust Administration in California