Whether you are in the late stage of your life or a family member has recently passed, issues such as what will happen to your property and wealth after you are gone are sensitive subjects. With the assistance of an attorney, matters related to estate planning, wills, trusts and more can be properly handled.
When someone passes away and leaves a will it must be probated to have legal effect. The probate process needs the will as well as a petition containing info on the descendants. The court will determine the validity of the will.
Once all issues are appropriately addressed, the court issues what’s called a decree and Letters Testamentary. This enables the executor to administer the estate, identify property as well as pay taxes and debts owed as the will states.
If a decedent passes away without a last will or trust, an administration proceeding takes place in court. Any assets the person had are distributed based on intestacy laws.
Estate planning allows you to ensure your property is distributed as you would have wanted after your death. Also, it can help reduce the tax burden that your family could deal with.
When estate planning documents are improperly prepared, it is more likely that there will be delays and greater expenses. Only after the court is satisfied that a will is valid will letters testamentary be issued allowing the executor to administer your estate. Often, it is wise to set up a trust for your property so it will be transferred to a trustee who can administer for one or more beneficiaries.
After a person dies, there may be disputes about who gets what. For example, a family member may not receive a share of the estate or the share that they expected. In some cases, it may be necessary to bring a will contest.