You may have come across the term “estate” but do you really know what an estate is? Well, if you don’t, you will find out soon.
An estate is simply the net worth of an individual living or dead at any point in time. It is regarded as the sum of an individual’s asset, interests, etc. Your asset could constitute your cars, investments, houses, stocks, etc.
Now, having known what an estate is, you should have a little insight into what estate planning entails.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a very common term. Estate planning is simply all about the distribution and management of a deceased assets upon his death or incapacitation. Estate plans are usually made when one is alive and it will come into effect when he dies or becomes incapacitated. It is advised that you plan your estate early then update it when necessary to avoid dying without one.
Most people aren’t aware of what estate planning really is or how it works. For some, it is all about writing a will. Estate planning is far broader than drafting a will that contains how ones properties is to be shared among the designated beneficiaries. Several assets can constitute an estate. These assets could be cars, houses, pension, stocks, etc.
Some years back, there was the misconception that estate planning was meant for the rich. That is not the case. Estate planning is for everyone, the poor and the rich.
Individuals make estate plans for lots of reasons. It could be to preserve their family wealth, to provide funds for their families and loved ones when they die, to fund the education of their children, etc. Estate planning is important, if you cared about those you’ll leave behind when you finally kick the bucket.
One mistake you shouldn’t make while alive is the mistake of failing to plan your estate. You never know, tomorrow you may be no more. If you die without planning your estate, your properties will be shared by the state government. This process can be ugly, long, and very expensive. You wouldn’t definitely want those you left behind to go through such after having to deal with your demise. So ensure you plan your estate while you still breathe, you never can tell if you will be alive tomorrow.
What is a will?
A will is a very significant part of an estate plan. Without a will one won’t be able to know the beneficiaries of an estate including how the estate owner wants the will to be distributed. A will is basically a legal document contains your wish regarding all that you own. It contain the properties or assets that you own, including the beneficiaries of each assets. A will also contains the name of the estate executor.
An estate executor is one who will act on behalf of the deceased upon his death. He is to see that all the wishes of the deceased (as stated in his will) are fulfilled. It is also his obligation to see that all unpaid debts and taxes of the decedent are discovered and settled. He can either decide to do this on his own or with the help of an estate planning lawyer.
After the demise of the estate owner, his will undergoes probate. Probate is done to ascertain the validity of a will. Some wills are not written by the estate owner and it is the job of the probate process to ensure that such is not the case regarding a certain will. The probate process is often complicated, though this depends on the circumstances surrounding the deceased’s will. Creating a Totten trust is an effective way to reduce the estate taxes that would be owed after your demise. It is also an effective way to prevent probate for an account.
Who is an Estate Planning Lawyer?
Estate planning can be very complicated, which is why you may need the services of an estate planning attorney. An estate planning attorney is an individual who is very conversant with the estate planning process and can offer you the best advice regarding how to plan your estate.
If you reside in the city of Miami, an estate planning lawyer Miami can be of help to you. Ensure you contact one when you are ready to plan your estate.