Estate planning is a very common term. We must have heard of this term somewhere, probably on the internet or from someone. But do you know what this term really means? Do you know all that it entails?
Well, estate planning is all about plans regarding how the assets or properties of a deceased person will be shared, managed and preserved. It also involves the management of the deceased properties including financial commitment, should they become incapacitated. The assets that constitutes a person’s estate are cars, houses, jewelries, pensions, etc. Upon the death of the individual, these assets are shared according to his or her wish which will be documented in a will.
People plan their estate for several 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.
If you fail to plan your estate before your demise, 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.
A will is a very important component of an estate. Without this document, an estate is a good as useless. 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.
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.
What can an Estate Planning Lawyer do for You?
Planning an estate on your own might be a bad idea. Because estate planning is a complex issue, you need the guidance of an estate planning lawyer so that you don’t end up making a mistake that might render your estate plan or will invalid. If you reside in the city of Miami, an estate lawyer in Miami can assist you with the planning of your estate. Ensure you go for an estate lawyer who is conversant with the estate planning laws of Miami.