Wills & Estate Planning
Many think “Estate Planning” is about planning for the distribution of their property after death, but it is much more than that. It is about people. Spouses, children, loved ones, close friends and charities. How will they be taken care of once you are gone?
A skilled attorney can assist you in addressing issues you may not have previously thought about. Proper planning may prevent potential financial problems during the remainder of your life and financially benfit your estate after your death. It can also prevent unnecessary disputes between your heirs and beneficiaries.
Proper estate planning can help you answer many important questions such as:
- Who will inherit my house and other property after my death?
- Who do I trust to take care of my minor children?
- Who will supervise and distribute my property?
- How will my debts be paid?
- Who will make decisions about my financial affairs if I become mentally or physically disabled?
- Who will make medical decisions for me, including the use of life support, if I cannot make those decisions for myself?
- How can I limit assets which are subject to probate and instead give or distribute my assets without the necessity of probate administration?
Probate is the court supervised process of transferring assets from a person who has died to the person’s heirs or devisees, after payment of debts and taxes. The process begins with the filing of a petition for probate of the decedents will, or if there is no will, for letters of administration. A personal representative is then appointed to handle the estate. The personal representative is responsible for identifying the decedent’s assets and having them appraised and inventoried. The personal representative is also responsible for determining if the decedent has any debts and notifying all creditors. He or she must also file all necessary tax returns and pay any taxes owed. All of these duties must be performed in a precise legal manner so as not to violate the personal representative’s fiduciary duties to the heirs or devisees of the estate.
As you can imagine, this process may be quite intimidating to someone who is unfamiliar with the forms and procedures required. The attorneys at the Neill Law Firm are knowledgeable about the probate process and can handle the administration of an estate in an efficient and professional manner. Contact us today for your will and estate planning.