Why Estate Planning?
Designing a comprehensive estate plan is an important part of every individual's life. At The Blume Law Firm, LLC, we provide peace of mind by helping our clients ensure that their loved one's will be cared for even in the worst case scenario. Without estate planning, complications may arise in determining who inherits your assets. Your family may even end up paying taxes. In addition, the needed probate can be stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. Our estate administration team will advise you on the appropriate tools to meet your needs and draft your estate planning documents, which may include some or all of the following:
- Wills: Most estate plans include a will. Your will governs what happens in the event of your death to any of your assets that are not distributed outside of probate court.
- Trusts: Depending on your specific circumstances, creating a trust may help you avoid probate, gain greater flexibility with your assets or take advantage of tax opportunities
- Powers of Attorney: Planning for the possibility of incapacity is an important part of the overall estate planning process. Very often, this may be accomplished by a properly drafted power of attorney.
- Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney: These documents are an important part of your estate plan. The Living Will make sure that your wishes about the use of life sustaining treatment are followed. A Health Care Power of Attorney will permit you to chose who you want to make health care decision for you, if you cannot make them for yourself.
What is Probate?
The time following the death of a loved one is never easy. Our attorneys at The Blume Law Firm, LLC believe that legal advice and counsel should be accompanied by compassion and understanding of the difficulties that our clients confront following a death in the family. One must not forget, however, that the loss of a loved one will require distribution of the deceased's assets and debts. In order to distribute assets and pay liabilities, a probate estate is typically required. If you have suffered from the loss of a close relative or friend, please contact us for a consultation. Our attorneys will guide you through the probate process so that the administrative of the probate estate is managed efficiently.
When is Probate Needed?
Probate is not always necessary. If the deceased held assets which were in joint names with another person, the co-owner typically will inherit that property automatically. If a person dies with assets and debts in their names alone, however, probate will most likely be required. Probate is often needed to:
Transfer real estate interests
Release bank account monies held by the deceased
Collect and pay debts owed by the deceased
Settle disputes between those who claim they are entitled to the assets of the decedent
Settle disputes between those who question the validity of the deceased's will
If you need help with the probate of a will, or if you have been named as a successor trustee under a living trust, we offer a consultation, in person or by telephone, with our one of our qualified estate administration attorneys. Our caring, professional approach allows our lawyers to assist you every step of the way and provide the ideal level of service.