In order to ensure that your affairs are handled according to your wishes after you die, it is important to have a Last Will and Testament. It allows you to plan exactly who receives your personal and real property, who will be responsible to administer the estate, and who be guardian of any minor child you may have. Having a Will can be the difference between a smooth transition or a costly and ugly battle between family.
If you die without a Will, your belongings will be divided according to state law, which provides for a division among your spouse, children or closest relatives, depending on your family situation.
Whether someone dies with or without a Will, it is necessary to file with the court to administer the estate or probate the Will according to its terms. Probate involves admitting a Will to court, appointing a personal representative to handle the estate, identifying the heirs, taking inventory of the estate, giving notice to creditors, and dividing the assets among the heirs after payment of approved expenses, taxes and debts. Preparing a Trust can permit your real and personal property to transfer to your heirs without the delay of probate proceedings in court.
Our office can assist you in estate planning decisions, or if a loved one has already passed, we can guide you through the probate process. Call for your free phone consultation to determine your options and the estimated cost.