First off, one important thing you must know is that, estate planning is for everyone, it isn’t limited to the rich alone. Provided you have an asset, no matter how small it is, you can plan your estate. 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.
What Is Estate Planning?
Several people are yet to grasp the real scope of estate planning. Some think that estate planning is all about writing a will, while other believe that estate planning is only for the rich. Well, there is more to estate planning than you know. Estate planning is quite broad and isn’t just limited to the drafting of a will.
Estate planning are plans made by an estate owner regarding the management and distribution of his assets when he dies or become incapacitated. The plans may involve his burial arrangements when he dies. Also, for those who become incapacitated to make certain health and financial decisions, an estate plan can cover that.
When you plan your estate you are directly planning for the future of your children, surviving spouse and those you love. Failure to plan your estate while alive may be terrible for your family. Estate planning also offers you the opportunity to express your wish towards the distribution and the management of all that you own (your assets).
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.
Estate Planning Lawyer
You need an estate planning lawyer for so many reasons. They can make your estate planning look so easy. Estate planning lawyers are very conversant with the estate laws of your state and can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes when planning your estate.
If you reside in the city of Miami, and you need help regarding the planning of your estate don’t hesitate to contact a Miami estate panning lawyer near you.