WILLS, TRUSTS, & PROBATE
Why Create an Estate Plan?
Building an estate plan now means preventing legal complications for your loved ones in the future. By clearly outlining your wishes with regard to your medical care, assets, property, and other such matters, you are leaving little room for argument and confusion later on. Not only that, but taking care of this legal matter now will allow you to rest easier knowing that your legacy is protected by your own design.
Estate Planning Tools
The components that make up your estate plan will depend upon a number of factors, but ultimately what matters is that the tools you use accurately reflect your unique needs and goals. For instance, you may be unclear on whether it’s better to draft a will or a living trust. The fact of the matter is that it depends.
In many ways, these two tools accomplish the same objectives — declaring beneficiaries and attributing the assets of your choosing to each of them. The core difference is that a living trust allows your loved ones to avoid the probate process when the time comes to administer the trust. A will, on the other hand, has to undergo the probate process, which means more expense for your loved ones later on but less expensive for you right now. This is, of course, a simplified way of defining these common estate planning tools. To reach a complete understanding of your options, and to determine which is right for you, it’s best to talk things over with an experienced attorney.
Estate Administration & Probate
When a person passes away, their estate — personal belongings, assets, property, stocks, etc. — must be distributed. How that happens, though, depends on whether they created a will, a trust, or neither before they passed. In my practice, I assist families and individuals with this process, and I try to make it as simple and painless for them as possible.
The probate process can be fairly straightforward when all the necessary documents are in place, but unfortunately, complications can arise. When, for example, beneficiaries disagree on the way their loved one’s estate is being administered, or a matter pertaining to property or heirship is unclear, it’s likely in everyone’s best interest to seek the aid of a legal professional. As a probate attorney with nearly 35 years of experience, I am well-versed in handling probate disputes and the issues that arise as a result. These issues include defense of heirship, property contests, and property transfer upon death. However, even if your concern is not specific to one of these issues, I encourage you to reach out to see if I can be of assistance.
WORK WITH A PROBATE & ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY WHO UNDERSTANDS
Making any big legal decision can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. I understand that the choices you make today can affect your loved ones later on, which is why I always approach estate planning and probate matters with a focus on educating, empowering, and supporting my clients. Allow me to do the same for you.