Estate plan are plans to decide who handle your properties, who gets a part of your estate when you die, and who makes certain managing decision for you when you are unable to do so. Also, these estate documents could be used to make a guardians and allow smooth transition of assets thus reducing excessive estate taxes. Looking further, when someone dies without a proper estate plan in place, such individual would be said to have died intestate; meaning dying without a will or estate document. The properties of the decedent in this case would be shared though the intestacy laws of the state. Probate are court processes to determine the validity of a will or estate document. This process could be long and discouraging, however, with certain estate document, like a living trust, probate process could be avoided.
Last Will as one essential estate document
A will is a very important estate document. A will indicates those who are to benefit from your assets. It contains all that you own, names of the designated beneficiaries, including what you want each of the beneficiaries to get. When you are gone, you will need someone to ensure that your wish regarding your estate is fulfilled. So, you will have to choose an executor. The name of the executor will be stated in your will. After your demise, the will you wrote will have to undergo probate. The probate process is carried out to determine the authenticity of the will. Sometime, foul play are often present in the drafting of a will. The designated executor won’t be able to carry out his duties until he or she is legally certified by the probate court. To ensure that the probate process is a smooth one, you will have to hire a probate attorney. A probate attorney is one who is conversant with the probate process. The attorney will act as your representative during the probate process. This process, doesn’t often take too long, though this depends on the circumstances surrounding the will.
Other essential estate document include:
Living trust: this one essential estate document that not only dictates what happens to you when you die but also should any disability occur. Living trust can covers three phases of one’s life: when you are alive and well, when you become mentally incapacitated and lastly after you die. Through a documented living trust, you can decide who handle you medical and financial decisions. You can also transfer your assets to a living trust. The advantages of having a living trust aside a will is enormous, as the trust document does not require probate to implement transfer of asset.
Financial power of attorney: should you plan to transfer the control of business, or financial decisions to a trusted fellow, you would need the financial power of attorney to implement this decision. This document allows a desired individual handle making financial decision on your behalf when you become incapacitated and unable to handle your financial affairs.
Advance medical directive: quite similar to the financial power of attorney, this document allows a desired individual make major medical calls and decisions for you, should become incapacitated.
What is the duty of the Executor?
As stated, after the court must have legally certified the designated executor, he or she will have the legal authority to act as a representative of the decedent. It is the duty of the executor to manage all the assets of the deceased. With the help of a lawyer, he is to estimate the estate value via any means necessary. The executor will have to dig deep into the financial records of the deceased to determine if he has any unpaid debt or taxes. If any is found, it is his duty to ensure that they are all paid off. All outstanding debts and unpaid taxes are usually paid off then whatever is left is shared to the beneficiaries based on the wish of the deceased which is always stated in the will.
Estate plans can be made to reflect and implement your mid, short and long term plans. However, you can speak with an estate planning lawyer to know suitable documents that would reflect these plans.
Since estate plans are made in preparation for any uncertain life occurrences, you need the right lawyers to ensure your desired and plans are duly implemented.
The living trust is an essential estate document. While other estate document such as last will may go through probate before it can be implemented, the living trust allows transfer of assets without any probate process.
Do you stay around Miami 33144? Contact our closest attorney right away.
Estate plans are vital to protect your assets and loved ones. There is no better time than now to make these plans. The step is taken once you contact an estate lawyer to discuss suitable plans for your estate. With the right foundation of a trust between you our estate lawyer near you in Miami, you can be sure that your estate plans is possible.
Contact our estate planning lawyers today.