Common questions you might have about Estate Planning and Probate.
What is Estate planning?
Simply put, it is having the proper documents making your wishes known, and who can make decisions for you when you can't.
Do I need a Will?
If you are over the age of 18, it is highly suggested that you have a will.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process where the court supervises the deceased's estate paying bills and making distributions to beneficiaries.
I don't want to think about "that"
It is scary thinking about the end, but the more you can do now, the less burden your loved ones will have.
What is the difference between a Will and Living Will?
A Will directs how your property will be distributed after your death. A Living Will is your end of life decisions, ordering that you not be connected to life support
What is a Power of attorney?
These let someone you trust, make decisions for you when you can't. There are 2 types, financial, and health care powers. A financial lets your agent handle your finances. The health care lets your agent make heath care decisions for you.
What is a Beneficiary Designation?
Basically, you name someone to get your property at your passing. You may have already done this with a bank account or a life insurance policy.
How is a Beneficiary Designation different from a Will?
Both accomplish the same thing; getting property to who you choose. The main difference is that with a Beneficiary Designation, ownership transfer immediately at death, while with a Will, the property has to go through the probate process and can take months.
What can I use a Beneficiary Designation on?
You can use a Beneficiary Designation on any titled property, I.e. your house, vehicles, bank accounts.
Is a Trust right for me?
It depends. Just like sushi isn't for everyone, a Trust may not be the best option for you.
What is a Trust?
A trustee holds and manages the property for the benefit of the beneficiary.
What is the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust?
When you create a revocable trust, you can change it, even revoke the trust during your life. Think of it as written in pencil, it can be changed at any time. An irrevocable trust once signed, cannot be changed or revoked. Think of it as written in stone.