A will is a legally-binding document that identifies who should inherit your property or care for your minor children. We can assist you in preparing a valid will and help you decide what to include in your will. In a will you will need to appoint an executor and a custodian if you have any minor children. If a person dies without a valid will and did not make alternate arrangements to distribute property, survivors may face a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive legal process. We also recommend that you include financial and healthcare powers of attorney to take care of all your estate needs.
What is a trust? A trust is a document outlining what the trustor wants to happen for his or her heirs. Mostly trusts are put in place to reduce estate tax liability, to tend to property in the trustor’s estate and to escape probate. It is true that a living trust does help avoid probate, which means that assets are issued in a faster time frame than a will. In addition, living trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable. A living trust keeps the entire process more confidential because it is not a public record, like a will. Plus, trusts are typically more difficult to attest than wills. However, it is important to note that trusts take longer to create and must be maintained.
Trusts and living wills can be changed at any time, however, it is more time consuming to change a living trust.
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will. The court officially appoints the executor, generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the assets in the manner specified in the will. Distribution of certain estate assets such as real estate requires the liquidation of the assets. If there is not a will, usually the closest relative is appointed as the executor of the estate. Through the probate process a will may be contested. We are happy to assist you with the complex nature of probate court.
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