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estate planning and probate Archives

You should revisit your estate plan the minute that you divorce

Although filing for legal separation may stop your estranged spouse from laying claim to some of your assets after you split up, there are many that they may be legally entitled to if you were to become incapacitated or pass away before your divorce is finalized. There are some estate planning steps that you can take the minute you split up to minimize the control that they have over you and your assets though.

Be careful when appointing a health care proxy

A health care proxy is someone that you can select to relay your medical wishes to doctors should be you become incapacitated or unable to voice them yourself. Once you draft one of these, it can change the course of your life. There are certain qualities that you should look for when appointing someone to this role.

What factors should affect how soon you draft your will?

Car crashes, workplace violence and deadly case of the flu are just three of many different reasons that a person of any age could die unexpectedly. While younger adults may have fewer assets, they should still consider how they want them handled if they die, as well as the needs of any dependents that they have. Wills can no longer be chalked up as something just for older people.

An executor of an estate has many responsibilities

Most times before an individual appoints someone as executor of their estate, they'll consult with them to let them know of such before they do so. Just because someone selects you to be their personal representative, though, it doesn't mean that you'll know what your responsibilities are when you're called upon to exercise them.

Why it's imperative for everyone to have wills

When many hear about wills, they automatically think two things. First, they think that they're a document that you only draft when you're of an advanced age. Second, many believe that they're only necessary for the wealthy. Neither is a correct assumption though.

What is the probate process and how does it work?

When someone dies, their will has to be authenticated before any distributions to beneficiaries can be made. This probate process is presided over by a judge. He or she ensures that necessary steps are taken in settling an estate through probate and that, if no will exists, state intestate succession laws are upheld.

Young or old, rich or poor: Why everyone needs a will

When it comes to wills, there are two common misconceptions about them. One is that many think that they're only important for older people or the rich and famous to have. Another is that you write it once and you never need to look at it again. Neither one of these is correct though.