Wills, Trusts & Estate Plans
When a loved one passes away, their estate will often go through the court-managed process called probate. This is when and where their assets are distributed and managed if there is no will. If your loved one has a trust or will then the court-managed process would not be necessary unless you want to transfer ownership of the assets.
In most cases, typically the spouse or an adult child will be appointed if there is no will for the deceased. That appointed person will be officially declared the representative or executor of the estate. Once the person has been granted the power, they can then gather and value any remaining assets, settle any bills, and then distribute any remaining assets to their beneficiaries.
This section covers important information regarding Wills, Trusts, and the importance of protecting your assets by making sure they end up in the right hands.
Creating a will is the most common way for an individual to dictate how their estate should be handled upon their passing. A will is important in the sense that it gives a clear direction as to who is entitled to what and reduces the possibility for disagreements or arguments between beneficiaries. If a will is created and signed at a time where the testator is in a clear state of mind, it is very difficult & costly for someone to fight a will in court, at the time of the individuals passing.
A trust is like a Will in the sense that it protects your assets. However, the main difference between the two is that a trust takes immediate effect after the document is signed. This method might be more appealing If you are worried about going into a nursing home, where the costs might exceed what you currently make through a pension, any potential investments, or your current Medicaid plan. More and more individuals utilize a trust to ensure that Nursing homes and other 3rd parties cannot seize your assets while you are still alive.
Estate Planning is essential when it comes to protecting your assets and ensuring that a court does not need to get involved to divvy up your assets between any remaining beneficiaries.
Estate planning is important to have at any age, whether you are 30 or 65 it is hard to predict when you will need such protections. By planning early, you are not only taking care of everything that you have worked so hard for, but you are protecting your loved ones by ensuring them some sort of financial security upon your passing. For more information on estate planning, please visit our main Estate Planning page.
If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding your own Will, Trust, or where to begin the Estate Planning process, please reach out to Attorney Andrew Bucklin at 781-632-8675 or contact him directly!