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?
Dying without a will or trust is called dying “intestate;” and, the intestacy laws of your state of residence, at your death, will determine who inherits from you and in what percentages. If you die with a well constructed and comprehensive will or trust plan, you get to decide who benefits from your estate. Typically, state intestacy laws don’t match decedents’ wishes. Furthermore, if you die with assets in more than one state, especially real estate, your assets would be subject to two … [Read more...] about What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will or Trust?
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
An estate plan is an important part of one’s plan for the future. Many realize that they need the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney to assist them in their efforts. Unfortunately, some folks will cut corners in their estate planning efforts in an effort to save a few bucks or because they think they are as smart as or smarter than their estate planning lawyer when it comes to drafting documents or both. Even with persons who were prudent enough to have their original plans … [Read more...] about Where Do It Yourself = Do It Wrong
It’s important to have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, your state law dictates who gets your property and makes decisions for you. Read this post by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, to learn more about the prevalence of unexpected deaths and an example of what can happen without planning. Planning for the Unexpected … [Read more...] about Planning for the Unexpected
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
Each of us will die eventually. This article by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, looks at how planning can make our passing easier for our loved ones. Specifically, this article looks at how planning can maintain privacy for your loved ones. Many Reasons to Plan … [Read more...] about Many Reasons to Plan
It’s important to have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, your state law dictates who gets your property and makes decisions for you. Read the following post by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, to learn more about a heart-breaking story of someone who didn’t plan and the consequences. Planning is Critical … [Read more...] about Planning is Critical
You may be wondering how your affairs will be handled after your death, whether you have an estate plan in place, or not. Take a look at some of the information below, to better understand how your affairs will be handled if you do indeed have a plan. Part 1 of this 2 part article discusses what happens if you do NOT have an estate plan in place. With an estate plan… If you only have a will in place, your affairs will likely still have to go through the probate process. This is … [Read more...] about What Happens After You Die…With or Without an Estate Plan (part 2 of 2)