While virtually every adult can benefit from estate planning, few do more than simply drafting a will. Even if someone does, they rarely take time to include a comprehensive inventory of all their assets and what they wish to happen with them. In an era in which so many people use online accounts and social media pages, wills should ideally include these digital assets if a testator wants their heirs to have lawful access to them in the future.
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.
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.
If you want to own a home and would like your spouse to inherit it without it having to process through probate or gift taxes being tacked on, then you may want to consider signing a Lady Bird Deed (LBD).
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.
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.
While many clients we see may have sat down and drafted a will at some point in time, few have taken time to plan their estates.
If you've looked into doing any estate planning, then you've likely heard the terminology "living will" thrown about. It's also known as a health care directive as well.
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.
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.