Here are the 5 most asked questions of estate attorneys according to our research.
What exactly is estate planning?
Estate Planning involves the development a plan for the protection the assets that have been accumulated during a person’s lifetime and providing for the security of oneself and others.
This can be accomplished by drafting documents:
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Proxy
- Living Will
It can also be accomplished by repositioning and/or investing of assets
- Transfer of Assets
- Proper Investment Planning
- Long Term Care Planning
What is probate?
When a person passes leaving a Last Will and Testament(LWT), the Will needs to be probated in the county where the decedent resided. A probate petition must be filed with the Surrogate’s Court in that county, along with an original copy of the Will and original death certificate with a raised seal. The executor/executrix designated in the LWT will engage our office to prepare and file a probate petition to obtain Letters Testamentary from the court so they may be granted the authority from the court to act on behalf of the estate. If a person passes without an LWT, then an administration petition needs to be filed for the purpose of obtaining Letters of Administration.
What happens if I die without an estate plan?
If a person passes without an estate plan they run the risk of increased exposure to estate taxation, experiencing spend down of their assets if they require long term care assistance before passing and could create disharmony among family members.
Do I need an estate plan given my particular financial or family situation?
Every family needs to plan their estate, regardless of how much they possess. The type of estate plan may vary depending upon the breadth and scope of the estate, but estate planning is necessary for every family.
Who should I tell about my estate plan?
Those you love and trust should be made aware of your estate plan, which hopefully is the same people, but not always.