Estate planning is the process of preparing for an individuals death. It involves making decisions about your property and taking the appropriate legal steps to protect it while you are still alive. If you have assets of any value you should avail yourself of the options, including wills, trusts or ownership transfers.
If an individual does not arrange for the handling of her property at death, the states probate process must be followed in order to legally transfer assets to another owner (cars, homes, time shares, personal property). The probate process is complex. The court will need to assign a personal representative, or administrator.
This individual will be responsible for filing an inventory of assets, setting up bank accounts, paying creditors, selling property, paying taxes and filing legal documents. To minimize the burden on your loved ones you should prepare for your own death.
If a loved one has not prepared and you find yourself responsible for the distribution of their estate, please give us a call. We can assist in many ways.
Wills and trusts are used to avoid the long, complex probate process. You are never too young to think about what might happen after your death. A will or trust can protect your property, provide guidance to those you love and relieve the stress placed on your loved ones during an already difficult time.
What should you include in your Will?
If you would like to prepare a will or trust, we can assist you at affordable rates.
An advance healthcare directive, also known as a living will, is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity.
A living will is one form of advance directive, leaving instructions for treatment in the case of illness or incapacity. Another form is a specific type of health care power of attorney in which the person authorizes someone to make decisions on their behalf when they are incapacitated.
When executing these documents, include an Authorization that also allow access to medical records to facilitate treatment, admission and discharge and continuity of care.