Estate planning is a very common practice. 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. Provided you have an asset such as a house, a car, a painting, sculpture, pension, etc., you can plan your estate.
Estate planning is quite important. It is done to ensure that one’s wish regarding all that he owns is fulfilled upon his death or incapacitation. Briefly, estate planning involves the management and distribution of a decedent’s assets the chosen beneficiaries.
Planning your estate is the best way to ensure that you die, your properties and all that you own are shared according to your wish. If you die without planning your estate, your properties will be distributed by the state government. This process is often time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. If you love your family and you dint wish that they go through this stress, ensure you contact a Miami Estate planning lawyer and plan your estate.
Here is an important component of estate planning. A will is basically a legal document that indicates all the assets of the decedent, how each will be shared, and to whom it will be 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.
An executor is always chosen by the decedent to ensure that all that is stated in the will are fulfilled. The executor acts as a representative of the decedent and performs several duties. These duties 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.
When the owner of an estate dies, his will undergoes probate. Probate is carried out on a will to determine its authenticity. It is done to ensure that the will was actually written by the owner without duress. 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.
It is during the probate process that the executor is legally approved as the representative of the deceased. He can now begin his duties as the estate executor.
After all the unpaid debts and taxes of the deceased must have been settled, the money left is then distributed to the designated beneficiaries.
Estate Planning and Totten Trust
Estate planning is for everyone and not for the rich alone. If you fail to plan your estate, your family, friends and loved ones may spend years fighting over the assets you left behind. This is definitely not something you would want to happen. Creating a Totten trust is an effective way to reduce the estate taxes that would be owed after your demise.
Totten trust is basically a bank account which is regarded as a POD (payable-upon-death) account. A POD is an account which can be easily accessed by a designated beneficiary upon your death. Such an account won’t have to undergo the stressful and challenging probate process.
As stated, probate proceedings aren’t only stressful, they also take time. If you don’t want to go this stress, then creating a Totten trust is the best way out.
Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate planning lawyers guide their clients through the estate planning process. Most estates plans are created by an estate planning lawyer who are conversant with estate law. These experts will ensure that your estate plans adheres to the estate law of the state you reside in.
Always hire an estate planning lawyer who has an in-depth understanding of the estate law of your state. For instance if you reside in Miami, go for an estate planning lawyer in Miami. The individual should be conversant with the estate law of the state.