You're writing your will, and you need to choose an executor. This person will be responsible for actually carrying out what your will commands and making sure assets are distributed properly.
Spend any amount of time researching estate planning, and you're bound to come across the term probate. It's an important consideration in preparing for the future and organizing your affairs. For many people, it's a key factor in strategizing an estate plan.
Being asked to serve as the personal representative of a loved one or friend’s estate is an honor, in some cases, and a burden in others. In any case, it is a responsibility worth taking seriously. For those who have no idea what is involved in serving as a personal representative of an estate, it can be greatly helpful to work with an experienced attorney. This is all the more important when the size of the estate is significant, or when there are complex claims against the estate.
Nobody wants their family members to squabble over inheritances after they're gone. No one wants to leave a legacy of heated battles. One of the main goals of estate planning is to prevent such disputes from happening.
Florida baseball fans remember that, last September, Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident near Miami Beach, Florida. Though Fernandez was unmarried at the time of his death, his girlfriend was pregnant with their child. She was not, however, named as a beneficiary on Fernandez’s trust. Rather, his mother was named as the sole beneficiary.
Florida readers may remember the iconic 2007 SuperBowl halftime performance of Prince in 2007. For those who weren’t there and haven’t seen it, a visit to Youtube may be in order. For Prince fans, the performance is a perfect example of the energy, creativity and commitment Prince had for his art. As committed as Prince was to his career as an artist, though, he did not take much thought for estate planning.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate the estate tax, and considering the changes this will bring to wealthy and moderately wealthy Americans. As we noted last time, changes in estate taxation at the federal level do not necessarily mean changes in death taxes—whether as estate tax or inheritance tax—at the state level.
When someone close to you or related to you passes away, you can find yourself struggling to come to terms with the loss. To make matters more complicated, you might learn that the person who passed away left a will you take issue with.
When you think about estate planning, you probably think about the person actually creating or updating the plan. You might think about creating a will, funding trusts and appointing people to make decisions on your behalf.
Being the executor of an estate can be a very complicated, frustrating task. As the person designated to manage the estate, it is up the executor to make some difficult financial decisions and see to it that a person's last wishes are respected and carried out.