- They are to be distributed according to a will.
- There is no will or alternative form of ownership.
- Any properties that were jointly owned.
- Life insurance that has specifically named beneficiaries.
- Assets that are belonging to an established living trust.
- Because probate cases are of public record, anyone who would like access to the financial records of the family will have that access as they will be able to review any court records.
- The probate process often involves an attorney which can be an unexpected expense.
- The cost of probate itself can be high, as much as 5% of the estate’s value. This price will vary based on the complexity of the case.
- The probate process can be lengthy.
- During the time the will is in probate, no heirs will have access to any assets that they inherited.
- The probate process often takes more than six months to complete.
- If you have real estate, consider a joint ownership with the person who you will give it to after you pass. The full title can then be transferred directly to that person, thereby avoiding probate.
- Name beneficiaries for retirement plans and IRAs to keep these assets out of probate.
- Create a “revocable living trust.” This is a trust you create while you are still alive. It is revocable and you can amend it as needed.
- Your assets are put into the trust which you will be in charge of. You will be responsible for reporting any income of the trust on your yearly individual tax return.
- Upon your death, the assets contained in the trust will be distributed as you have previously dictated.
- A living trust works very similarly to how a will works, with the important difference that a trust is not subject to probate.
If you have children, it is imperative that you write a will. If you don’t, and pass away without a will, state law will decide what happens to your property and who will take care of your children. Having a will already in place to protect your kids and property will ease your mind should anything happen, but in case you need more of a push, here are 4 reasons to create a will when you have children:
While creating a will may seem like you’re accepting something bad may happen to you, it’s much smarter to be proactive and ready, and leave your family with a plan of your best intentions. You may want to speak to an experienced wills lawyer Sacramento CA respects to review your options and set up a will or trust today.
Clients often ask what determines whether they will need a basic will or a trust. These are some of the suggestions I give as a estate planning lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on:
Will You End Up In Probate?
My first question is always, “Are you comfortable with your estate going through probate?” Every estate and client is different, the type of assets are different and the parties involved are different.
For some people the idea of dealing with the court, making court filings and following specific timeframes seems daunting. Some states can have easier processes or more informal probate proceedings, but it can still seem like a tough task. In some cases, a probate may even make sense, there may be a comfort in knowing that the court is involved to make sure things are completed.
Are there people you wish to protect or have assets managed on their behalf?
For clients with minor children, special needs individuals, dependency issues or other challenges, it may be critical to not leave them with direct control of assets. Clients needs to know that without putting a trust together and identifying trustees of their choosing, they will be leaving it up to the court to decide who will be appointed conservator over assets.
Just as one consideration, not using a trust could in an ex-spouse being appointed by the court to be in charge of assets for a child.
What Are Your Assets Like?
Do you have assets in multiple states? Do you have a business? The complexity of the assets can have bearing on whether a trust makes sense. If there are assets in multiple states, a will plan would require probate in multiple states. If there are business assets, there may be a need to maintain seamless continuity to prevent damage to the business. In other cases, a family may wish for assets to remain in a family. For that, a trust would make sense to allow for a long term plan of operation.
What Time Period Are You Planning For?
A will only has a use after someone passes away. Even if they were on their deathbed it would have no function or ability to give authority over assets. If it is important to a client that management be consideration not just for death, but also in the event of incapacity, then a trust would be right vehicle to give authority and responsibility over assets.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into the trusts and estate planning practice.
Depositions are an important part of many trials, and there is a lot to understand about their process. If you will be participating in a deposition, or your lawyer is conducting a deposition for your case, then it may be helpful for you to have a general understanding of what will be involved.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is the oral testimony of a witness and takes place out of court, usually in a lawyer’s office. The witness’ testimony is documented in writing and can later be referred to in court by either party. A deposition is also called an examination for discovery, or an examination before trial.
- A deposition is where the attorneys gather information in preparation for the trial.
- Both attorneys are allowed to ask questions of the witness.
- The witness must answer aloud, as a recording won’t record a nod or any facial recognition.
- After the first attorney has asked their questions, the second attorney will have their chance to ask questions in cross-examination.
- There is a limit of only ten depositions of various witnesses per side allowed.
- A deposition can only last for seven hours in one day.
Who Is Usually Present in a Deposition?
There are certain people who are almost always present at a deposition. This includes the court reporter to provide the transcription and deposition services and at least one lawyer for each side. There are no limitations on who can attend the depositions unless there is a protective order in place.
- If there is someone that you don’t want at the deposition, the burden is on you to prove “good cause” for why they shouldn’t be there, according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)(E).
- Good cause entails that the order is required to protect the person from oppression, embarrassment, undue expense or undue burden.
- This is different from a trial, where a witness can be excluded as requested by the party.
When is A Deposition Necessary?
This usually depends on the circumstances and various facts of the case. If the case hinges on proving certain circumstances and the details of what happened, a deposition is a common part of the discovery process. Sometimes, the information obtained from the deposition opens the door for a settlement to take place. A settlement agreement negates the need to go to court and can be a cost and time savings. If you would like to know more about what you’re likely to experience in a deposition for your case, consult your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, contact a law firm as soon as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext for their insight into depositions
Bankruptcy refers to a federal law that helps people or companies get out of debt. Individuals who need to file bankruptcy may qualify for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Both types of bankruptcy just refer to chapters, or sections, of the bankruptcy law.
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Utility bills
- Money owed on an apartment lease
- Payday loan debts
- And more
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, a Memphis-based bankruptcy and personal injury law firm dedicated to helping people in the Mid-South get through hard times when they happen.
Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, the fact remains that it has been an exciting campaign. Now that President Trump has taken office, there are some clear indicators that estate planning may change under his administration. Here are some high level takeaways:
- Repeal of the Death Tax: President Trump’s campaign website made clear his intention to “repeal the death tax, but capital gains held until death and valued over $10 million will be subject to tax to exempt small businesses and family farms.” If this is borne out, then there will be a great impact on the wealthy. There may also be a repeal of the gift tax.
- Capital Gains: President Trump also made clear that he intends to retain the current 20% capital gains rate. The impact of this is that for large estates, there may be a reduction in the total tax paid, in relation to the size of the estate.
- Anti-Abuse Provision: Trump’s plan also puts into place prohibitions on transfers of appreciated assets to closely held family charities. This likely means that there will be strong incentives to keep taxable estates within the family, usually via various trust vehicles.
To be fair, there are still lot of unknowns. That said, in order to fully understand the impact under the current law, it is important to seek out counsel to determine how best to help you plan your estate transition!
If you died today, would your spouse or your children know how to carry out your wishes? Would they know who to call or what first steps to take? While you do not have to tell your family about every single detail of your financial situation or last wishes, it is important that they know where to find your estate planning and health care documents. You can easily make the process simple for the people you love by equipping them with the information they will need in case of an emergency.
As an Estate Planning Attorney, Memphis TN trusts, we’d like to share with you a few tips about what you should share with your loved ones now to make it easier on them if you should unexpectedly die or become incapacitated:
(1) Who to Call. Family members should also know who to call, such as your attorney or accountant.
(2) Where to Look. Organize your Estate Plan and make certain your loved ones know where to find it if needed. Keep all original documents in one secure place, such as a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Make sure the correct people have proper and legal access to your important papers.
(3) What to Do. Many Estate Plans include instructions for loved ones with detailed information and instructions for funeral and memorial arrangements, as well as where to find accounts, life insurance, etc. Take the time to complete instruction documents.
(4) Distribute Copies of Health Care Documents. Give copies of your signed health care documents to your doctor and to the people you have appointed as your health care agents. As a general matter, we don’t recommend distributing copies of your Will or other major documents in case you later decide to make changes. For those documents, just make sure your loved ones know where to find the documents.
Many of us do not like to think about what will happen when we die. Death and incapacitation are not pleasant things to think about, and many people put off planning for this very reason. But, don’t delay! Your loved ones will appreciate the care you took to help guide them in handling your affairs.
If you need help with your estate plan, or have questions about how you can plan ahead now for the future, contact the trusted lawyer today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC who have significant experience in Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning.
As almost everyone knows, a Will is a written document, which puts forth your wishes regarding your estate after your passing. It has to be signed by you, as well as two disinterested witnesses. You get to appoint a person you trust as an executor of your will. You have to be careful when you appoint this person because he/she is going to be disposing of your assets after your passing according to the will. Below are pros and cons that can help you determine if need a trust or a will.
Pros and Cons about Wills:
Pros: Drafting of a will is cost effective. It costs generally $350-$400 to get a will drafted. A will allows you to dispose your property according to your liking.
Cons: Upon your passing, the executor of your will has to hire a probate lawyer Arlington TX trusts to probate your will. It takes about $2,500-$3,000 to probate your will (without a will contest). You have to retain the original copy of the will so it could be filed with the Court.
A trust document disposes of your property also according to your wishes by putting your property in a trust. A trust bypasses the court’s involvement. This means, your trustee does not have to hire an attorney after your passing to dispose of your property. There are two different types of trusts: Revocable Trust and Irrevocable Trust. A common misconception most people have about trust is that it is used only for huge estates. This is untrue.
Pros and Cons about Trusts:
Pros: A trust is helpful if you have a minor child because you can establish special provisions for your child’s need or education. You can create a trust if you are worried you may become incapacitated and need someone to manage your assets. Unlike a will, a trust keeps your assets outside of the public disclosure.
Cons: A trust can protect only the assets that are placed in the trust itself using a certificate of trust. A trust requires you to manage your assets. A creation of trust costs approximately $3,500.
At the end of the day, a trust or a will will generally end up costing you the same amount. It is your decision whether you want to spend the money up front or wait. Everyone’s estate is different. One size does not fit all. To get a customized estate planning for your individual matter, please contact a experienced attorney.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into probate law.