Estate Planning Lawyers in the USA
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- Can I Avoid Probate?
Probate is a process in which a personís final affairs are wrapped up, debts are paid off and any remaining assets are distributed according to the terms of a will or the laws of intestacy if there is no valid will. During this time, assets are tied up as beneficiaries impatiently await their share. Probate can also be expensive and time-consuming. For these reasons, many individuals try to avoid probate through one or more of the following ways.
- What Are the Laws of Intestacy?
The laws of intestacy are the default rules that are followed to dispose of a personís probate estate after he or she dies. These laws are based on state statute. In order to avoid these laws, a decedent can make a will or otherwise dispose of the assets before or at death, such as through a living revocable trust or a testamentary trust.
- Digital Assets in Estate Planning
Many individuals account for their real estate, securities and tangible property as part of their estate plan. However, much of peopleís lives are now online, potentially leaving a personís digital assets unclaimed or even susceptible to theft. A comprehensive estate plan should address the handling of digital assets.
- Holographic Wills: Pros and Cons
Having a will helps prevent a testatorís estate from passing through the laws of intestacy. However, if the will is not executed properly, these rules can apply if the will is considered invalid or does not completely dispose of all property under the will.
- Does My Will Have to Be Witnessed?
Wills allow individuals to avoid the stateís rules about who gets what portion of a decedentís estate. They also allow individuals to name their executors, name a guardian for their children and bequeath specific items to certain individuals. However, if a will is not properly executed, the will can be invalidated and the rules of intestacy (dying without a will) can apply.
- How Do Inheritance Rights Vary Between Legitimate and Illegitimate Children?
Once, expectant parents were quite concerned about marrying before a child was born in order to protect that child's claims to legitimacy. There was a time when legitimacy was a very important legal consideration, particularly when it came to inheritance rights. Today, the role of legitimacy in a child's birth rights is very different than it once was.
- Contributing to Your Grandchildren's Future
When estate planning, gifting assets to your grandchildren can do more than help your descendants get a good start in life; it can also reduce the size of your estate and the tax that will be due upon your death.
- The Duties of a Trustee: How to Choose, How to Prepare
It is not unusual for a family member to be named as trustee for a trust that benefits a number of other family members. However, just because you are related to someone does not necessarily make him or her a good trustee.
- 6 Circumstances where a Trust Will Serve You Better than a Will
A will is the cornerstone of a complete Florida estate plan, and may be useful for anyone with assets that they wish to pass along to others, as well as parents of minor children who will need a will to name guardians for their children.
- What Are the Requirements of a Valid Will?
In order for a will to be valid, it must comply with certain legal formalities. There are dire consequences of a will not following these formalities, including the decedentís estate being distributed according to the rules of intestacy and the will being completely ignored. While the legal requirements vary by state, here are some guidelines that many states have regarding the creation of a valid will.