A revocable trust is perhaps the most commonly used trust in estate planning. In many ways, the language used in a revocable trust is similar to the language used in a will. The person establishing the trust—called the grantor—directs particular assets to pass to particular beneficiaries, and appoints people to manage and distribute the assets. [...]
A trust is a tool used to hold, manage, and distribute property on behalf of a beneficiary, according to terms and rules set out in the trust. There are generally three roles in a trust: the grantor, who establishes the trust and transfers property into it; the trustee, who oversees the affairs of the trust; [...]
A will is a document that spells out, among other things, how a person’s property should be distributed upon his or her death, and who should be in charge of making these distributions. A guardian for minor children can also be appointed in a will.
Many critics exaggerate the “horrors” of probate, and encourage people to avoid probate at all costs. We believe that structuring an estate plan to avoid probate can be helpful for many clients, but should not be an all-consuming goal. This goal should be balanced against others.
Yes. By structuring your assets in certain ways, probate can be avoided. Probate is generally only required for assets held in a person’s own name. If you establish a living trust, and place your assets in that trust, those assets will not be subject to probate. Also, assets held in a person’s own name, but [...]
Probate generally has the reputation as something to be avoided, if possible. This reputation has come about for several reasons: Fees. Every stage of the probate process—from opening the estate, to filing an inventory, to filing accountings—comes with a fee, payable to the court. Taken individually, these fees are fairly nominal, but they can add [...]
Although this can vary greatly depending on the nature of the estate, the probate process generally contains the following elements: A person (often someone named in the will) appears before the court and is officially appointed Personal Representative of the estate The Personal Representative “opens the estate” by filing the original will or verifying that [...]
Probate is a process in which a local court supervises the administration of a person’s estate, to make sure that assets are handled and distributed according to the state’s laws. Estates are typically probated in the jurisdiction where the person lived, or owned property.
Estate administration is the process of handling the affairs of a person who has died. Depending on the estate, this can involve many different types of tasks. Typical estate administration duties include paying debts, filing tax returns, filing court documents, re-titling accounts, selling assets, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
This is common. We all know we will die at some point—but not many of us enjoy thinking about the topic. So, there is an inherent hesitation built in when it comes time to learn about estate planning and make choices related to this. As a starting point, it is helpful to know, or at [...]