Probate is the court process required when someone dies with assets in their own name and there is no paid on death beneficiary, for example, on a bank account.
Probate is a complicated process and requires a probate attorney with experience. Ally Glaser has the experience and knowledge to get you through your probate process in the least amount of time required.
There are many types of probate, but the most common is a formal administration. A probate attorney creates the documents to open the probate and then a personal representative signs them to open the estate. A personal representative is appointed either because the decedent’s will appoints them, or because they are the closest next of kin.
An intestate probate is one without a will, where a testate probate means the decedent died with a will. It is always the best choice while living to do an entire estate plan including a trust and with proper funding, avoid probate altogether. This avoids the costs and complications of the probate court.
If estate planning including a trust has not been done, then a probate is needed to sort through assets and a probate attorney is needed to collect and distribute these assets. Even with a good estate plan, I have seen probates with just one asset that was left out of the trust. In this case, even with only one asset a probate is still needed to collect and distribute that one asset.
A Revocable Trust is a great estate planning tool that can assist individuals whether married, single, living together, kids or no kids in sheltering their assets in the case of death or disability, and even prevents guardianship, if done correctly.
A Revocable Trust is only effective if funded properly. Think of a trust as a large grocery bag and instead of groceries, it is filled with your re-titled assets; for example, real estate, investments, and bank accounts.
A revocable trust can be changed at any time and allows the individual to plan now and change it as they grow. A good attorney is required to achieve a good estate plan.
It is a good idea to create the trust with an attorney in your area where you live most of the time and have most of your assets. So if you are mostly in Miami Beach, Florida that would be a good place to start looking for the right attorney for your estate plan creation.
A couple living together but not married, will benefit from estate planning whether they hold assets separately or together. In fact, all couples married or living together benefit by having individual trusts that protect both of them in the case of death, disability, or divorce.
A single person may also do estate planning to ensure their property goes to the right people at death and guardianship is avoided. Estate planning is important for everyone, but especially for single people with children or many assets.
The New Year is here and we all have resolutions. Some of mine are exercise often, take more vacations, eat more veggies, drink more water, enjoy a good work /life balance and be the best person I can be as an attorney, mother, wife, and friend.
For my clients and future clients, what are your resolutions? Maybe it is to get your estate planning documents in order or maybe starting small, it’s time to start thinking about these kinds of things.
If you are a parent of young children under 18 years of age, do you have a list of emergency contacts on your refrigerator or on a board up in your kitchen or somewhere super visible? Who should a babysitter or nanny call if you do not come home? It’s a good idea to include your pediatrician’s phone number and important medical information that may be needed.
If you are married, divorced, or a single parent, who should care for your children if you can’t? If you died suddenly, how would life look for them? Where would they live? Of course, this would all be horrible, but a well thought out estate plan along with personal letters that include pictures written by the parents themselves can really help ease the pain and confusion.