First off, one important thing you should take note of is that, everyone needs to plan his or her estate. Estate planning isn’t for just the rich. You don’t have to be as rich as Bill Gates to plan your estate. If you have an asset, no matter how little it is, you can go ahead and plan your estate so that a designated beneficiary will take it as an inheritance when you die.
What is an estate? An asset is simply the assets or properties you own. It can also be regarded as your net worth at any point in time.
If you die without planning your estate, who will inherit the things you own? Well, your assets wouldn’t lie fallow when you die without planning your estate, neither will it be shared or managed as you want it to be ( remember you didn’t plan your estate), rather , all that you left behind will be shared and managed based on the intestate law of the state you reside in. This process can be messy, it is often time-consuming, stressful and very expensive as lots of court payments are made and those you left behind will also have to hire a good lawyer to represent them in court.
We hear of the word “will” all the time, but do we really know what a will is? Do we know what its purpose is? Well, if you don’t, you are about to find out. A will is a very important element of an estate plan. This legal document is that which states the assets of the deceased, how each will be shared, including whom it will shared to.
Put simply, a will contains your wish on how your estate is to be shared. Some people believe that estate planning begins and ends with the drafting of wills, this is so not true. In fact, estate planning is more than writing wills.
In the will is the name of an executor. The executor could be anyone from a trusted friend to a relative, etc. The job of an estate executor is to ensure that the wish of the deceased concerning his assets are fulfilled. It is therefore safe to say that an estate executor acts on behalf of the estate owner. Other duties of an estate executor ranges from locating all unpaid debts and taxes of the decedent and making efforts to see that they are outrightly settled. As stated, he is also charged with managing the estate.
Probate is often carried out on the will of a deceased. Upon the death of the decedent, the will is to be presented to court for the probate process. Probate is simply carried out to determine the validity of a will. If the will was written by another person other than the owner of the estate, or if the will was written under duress, it is the job of the probate court to find that out and take necessary actions. The probate process is often dreaded by most people because of several reasons. This process can be long, though this depends on the circumstances surrounding the estate.
During the probate process, the estate executor is legally approved as the executor of the estate. Without the approval of the probate court, the estate executor can’t perform his or her duties as the estate executor. One of the most important duties of an executor is to locate and settle the debts of the deceased. After all the unpaid debts and taxes of the deceased must have been settled, the money left is then shared to the designated beneficiaries.
Estate Planning Attorney Fort Lauderdale
Because the estate planning process should be handled with topnotch professionalisms, you may require the help of an estate planning attorney when planning your estate. An estate planning attorney can help you with your estate plan. He or she has the experience and expertise to offer you the best advice concerning the planning of your estate. Do you wish to avoid probate? A competent estate planning attorney can offer you advice regarding that.
If peradventure, you live in the city of Fort Lauderdale, It is advisable that you hire an estate planning lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. To find one, simply visit Google and input the words “Fort Lauder dale Estate planning Attorney near me” then select from the listings, probably one close to your area of residence