A person’s choice of their personal representative may be one of the most important decisions involved in the estate planning process. This is the individual (or in the same cases, the parties) that will be charged with ensuring that one’s final wishes are carried out to their exact specifications. Thus, one should be sure that the person(s) they select are aptly capable of fulfilling the role. Still, circumstances may occur which necessitate the removal of a personal representative during the estate administration process.
It is recommended by estate planning experts in Saint Charles that you create a will early on in your adult life (as you never know when you might die). Your spouse will no doubt factor into your estate planning decisions. What happens, then, if after creating a will (and including provisions which address the distribution of assets to your spouse) you then choose to get a divorce?
Many in Saint Charles may think that the only purpose of estate planning is determining how your assets and property are to be distributed to your beneficiaries upon your death. Yet another major aspect of the process is addressing your end-of-life care (if you happen to be in a position where you might need assistance in making important decisions). Part of this may be deciding who to entrust with power of attorney over your affairs. When seeking assistance with this process, many of those who have come to members of our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law have been surprised to learn that there are actually several different forms of power of attorney.
Being transparent in one’s estate planning is encouraged by experts in Saint Charles in order to avoid the potential of disputes arising amongst beneficiaries after one is gone. The reasoning behind this advice is that if beneficiaries know what may be coming to them from one’s estate, they may be less likely to question the validity of the instruments governing it. Yet this can also be a double-edged sword in that if a potential beneficiary believes that they it has been indicated that they will have a specific interest in an estate, they may cry foul if and when that does not turn out to be the case.
Saint Charles residents are encouraged to be transparent in their estate planning. Yet what happens if that transparency puts them in danger. You might dismiss the idea of a beneficiary killing their potential benefactor in order to receive their money to simply be the imaginings of storytellers. Our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law can tell you, however, that the potential is real enough that the state has address the issue through legislation.
When's the last time you've looked at your will? If it's been a while, or you've recently undergone some significant life changes, it's time to review your estate plan to ensure it still meets your needs. Forbes explains when you must update your will so it continues to protect your assets and ensure your family receives them as you see fit after you're gone.
The process of intestate succession (and the guidelines governing it) have been detailed on this blog in the past. As the child of one who dies without a will, you have the right to inherit a portion of your parent's assets. Yet oftentimes clients come to see members of our team here at Stephen A. Martin Attorney at Law when the issue of establishing parentage arises. This may seem a simple enough task; simply identify a decedent's issue (their direct descendants). Yet what if you are not the biological child of a decedent, your parents were unwed? Are you still entitled to inherit assets under the state's intestate succession guidelines?
Some in Saint Charles might mistakenly believe that once one dies, all of their debts are resolved. Yet that is not the case. Were a decedent still alive, the funds used to pay their debts would be taken from their personal assets. Upon their death, those assets become their estate. Thus, any debts that are owed now must be paid from the estate. As one's executor or personal representative is tasked with managing their estate, the job of allocating estate assets to pay off their debts falls to that party. Since msn.com reports that the average American has $61,000 of debt when they die, those asked to serve in the aforementioned role should be familiar with their debt resolution options.
Most people in Missouri who have children dream of and expect that they will live to see their children grow up and that they will even get to experience the joys of becoming grandparents someday. While this is the most common scenario and the one most likely to the chances of probability, it is certainly not what always happens. Illnesses and accidents can and do happen, leaving children suddenly without their parents. In these situations, having a prenamed guardian ready to step in can go a long way toward providing the emotional support kids need.
If you have decided to create an estate plan, this could be a very important move that not only helps protect your assets but makes things easier for your loved ones in the future. However, there may be a lot of different options in front of you and you could be unsure of which type of trust is best. In this post, we will briefly cover some of the different trusts that people set up, and it is important to find one that will suit your needs best. Once you have figured out which type of trust makes the most sense, you can take important steps to ensure that your estate will be managed properly.