Some consumers mistakenly believe that avoiding probate also avoids the federal estate tax. Both probate and the federal estate tax deal with your estate, but avoiding one doesn’t avoid the other. What is Probate? What’s the Federal Estate Tax? Probate is the legal proceeding of validating a will, if there is one, and settling an estate. Probate assets are all those assets that the decedent owned in his or her individual name, but didn’t have a beneficiary designation, a joint owner or … [Read more...] about Confusion About How to Avoid Probate and Estate Taxes
When you start to get serious about delving into the subject of estate planning it is likely that you will start to do some research on the Internet. When you do so you will invariably see mention of something called "probate" quite frequently, and you may wonder exactly what it is and what it is intended to achieve. Probate can be defined as the legal process of estate administration, and during this interim the probate or surrogate court in the jurisdiction that is local to you determines … [Read more...] about Do You Really Need A Probate Lawyer?
When a loved one passes away, the loss you feel can be overwhelming and debilitating. Focusing on anything but your grief may seem impossible; however, if you were named as the Executor of the estate the decedent was counting on you to be able to set aside your grief long enough to oversee the probate of the estate. If you have never before served as an Executor, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of administering an estate. 10 Tips for an Executor Consulting with an … [Read more...] about Probating an Estate — Tips for an Executor
In a perfect world, the testator of a last will and testament will always discuss with you his or her intention to appoint you as executor of his or her estate prior to actually doing so. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. As a result, it is not uncommon for someone to receive a telephone call informing her that she has been named as executor in a will without any prior knowledge of the nomination. If this has recently happened to you, you may be wondering what to do next. The … [Read more...] about You’re the Executor of A Will: Now What?
When faced with the loss of a family member or loved one, the emotional toll can be immeasurable. Along with handling the emotional impact of the loss, you may also be faced with handling the practical aspects as well. One question that often comes up is whether or not the decedent’s estate is required to pass through the legal process known as probate. The answer to that question depends on the law of the state where the decedent was considered to be a resident at the time of death. While … [Read more...] about Is Probate Necessary?
If you recently lost your spouse, you probably do not want to think about the practical and legal steps that are required following a death. To ensure that your spouse’s estate is properly handled, and assets are transferred to the intended beneficiaries and/or heirs of the estate, however, you need to consider the need to probate his/her estate. Let's see when you will need to probate a spouse’s estate in California. Why Might I Want to Avoid Probate? Probate is the name given to the … [Read more...] about How Do I Know If Probate Is Necessary for My Spouse’s Estate?
Everyone knows that an estate plan can ensure your chosen beneficiaries receive the right inheritance. But did you know there are other benefits too? Here’s five things a good estate plan can for you. Protect Against Disability – No, your estate plan can’t prevent disability from striking but it can certainly ensure that you and your estate are protected if it happens. Using an Advanced Health Care Directive and General Durable Power of Attorney can ensure that your medical wishes are … [Read more...] about Five Lesser Known Benefits of Good Estate Planning
If you find yourself directly involved in the probate of a Will for the first time, you are probably unsure of what to expect. What happens during the probate of a Will depends, to some extent, on what your role in the probate process is. While the basic probate steps are the same for any Will, every probate process is also as unique as the decedent. To give you some idea what to expect, however, let's look at some common steps involved in the probate of a Will. What Is Probate? Before … [Read more...] about What Happens When a Will is Probated?
When someone dies, they typically leave behind various estate assets. This may include cash, investments, personal property or real property. All of the decedents property must be legally transferred upon his or her death. How the property is handled depends on a number of factors. Property held in joint tenancy with another person will pass by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant when the one of the joint tenant dies. In many cases, property held by husband and wife as community … [Read more...] about What Happens To One’s Property After They Die?
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?