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estate administration & probate Archives

Intestacy of an estate

When a person dies without a will, or if there is an invalid will, that person's estate passes into intestacy. Intestacy entails that the state in which the person was residing will assume responsibility for distributing the intestate estate to any relevant individuals, doing its best to approximate what that person's will might have been had one been created. This may sound like a good thing, but often the process of distribution through the state diminishes the estate significantly, and it may distribute assets in a wildly different manner than the deceased person would have wanted.

Power of appointment and estate administration

One of the most important components of an estate plan is the power of appointment. The power of appointment is one of the fundamental tools that allows complex legal transactions to take place and be honored by courts and governmental agencies. You might be considering using power of appointment to give another individual specific privileges regarding your property, which is a common occurrence in many wills and other legal documents.

Joint tenancy and tenancy-in-common

Often in the course of planning an estate, some individuals will want to own a piece of property jointly. It is possible for this to be accomplished in a couple of different ways, each with its own advantages and liabilities. If you are considering joint tenancy or tenancy-in-common on a title, a broad understanding of the differences can help you determine which is best for your needs.

How do I help my parents create an estate plan?

Millions of Americans' parents do not have a solid plan for how they want to live out their retirement years, or what to do with their estate when they pass. This is a dangerous place for everyone involved, but it doesn't have to stay that way. Regardless of the state of your parents' affairs, you can help them assemble a responsible, forward-looking estate plan that puts them first while taking pressure off of you. If you are going to help your parents get their affairs in order, you'll want to know the state of a few different things.

The basics of probate

Probate is the process by which a person's property is dealt with after he or she dies. It is supervised by the court and doesn't include property that already has another owner or is designated to another. For example, beneficiaries are named in life insurance policies. Bank accounts might be "payable on death" to the other listed party.

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