When someone dies with a Last Will and Testament, their property is distributed in accordance with what the Will states. While preparing a Will can be a complicated and stressful process at the best of times, if not properly drafted, your wishes might not be realized when distribution of the Will occurs. For example, if a beneficiary under your Will has already died when distribution of your estate assets occurs, the issue of lapse will arise. Continue reading “What Does it Mean for a Will to Lapse?”
If you are planning your estate and writing your last will and testament instead of using a Trust, the last thing you want to worry about is who might try to attack your estate when you are no longer around to defend it. However, if you are not careful, the distribution of your estate can become a massive debacle as family members and creditors all fight for a piece of the pie. If you decide to use a will instead of a Trust to distribute your estate, here are five ways you can use your will to protect your estate from this kind of chaos: Continue reading “Five Ways to Protect Your Estate Through Your Will”
Estate planning is an important task for anyone advancing in years, especially for anyone with a large amount of property that will need to be allocated after your demise. But what do you need to consider when you’re planning your estate? What can you do to avoid catastrophe when the worst comes to pass? Well, here’s five questions to ask yourself when you’re planning your estate. Continue reading “Five Things to Consider When Planning Your Estate”
When Aretha Franklin died on August 16, 2018, she left behind a litany of musical memories for her fans. But one thing she forgot to leave behind was a Will.
Variety reported that the “Queen of Soul” — who died at the age of 76 of pancreatic cancer — had no Will designating who will benefit from her estate. In her home state of Michigan, if an unmarried person with children dies intestate, each surviving child receives an equal amount of the decedent’s assets. In this case, Ms. Franklin’s four sons filed documents in court listing themselves as interested parties and acknowledged the absence of a Will, while their cousin requested to be the personal representative of Ms. Franklin’s estate.
Continue reading ““Queen of Soul” Leaves Behind a Legacy, But No Will”
A Last Will and Testament is an important estate planning document that contains provisions for assets and the distribution of property upon death. Unfortunately, many individuals fail to account for assets that do not pass directly under a Will. These assets may include life insurance policies, pensions, IRAs, and 401(k) or 403 plans. After the policyholder of these assets dies, the policies may distribute the benefits to their heirs at law if there is no beneficiary designation and no Last Will and Testament.
When a parent dies without a Will and leaves behind money (example $10,000) in a sole checking account, a proceeding would be governed by the small estate process. Not all estates require a full probate or an administration proceeding. If the deceased passed away after January 1, 2009 and has $30,000 or less in personal property, they are entitled to a voluntary administration proceeding, which is a simplified Surrogate’s Court procedure.
Perhaps the most surprising fact reported following the death of musician Prince Rogers Nelson was that the celebrity died without a Last Will and Testament. As mentioned in a previous blog article, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson filed an Emergency Petition in a Minnesota court seeking the appointment of a Special Administrator. The circumstances surrounding the celebrity’s death is not uncommon, as 55 percent of Americans do not have a will or an estate plan in place, according to LexisNexis.