There seems to be a shared misunderstanding about Estate Planning. This may come from making an assumption that for something to be considered an estate, it must be extravagant and expensive. However, as explained by caring.com in their article, Estate Planning 101, “In the eyes of the law, an “estate” is simply all the property individuals own, both outright and jointly — including bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, vehicles, jewelry, retirement accounts, and even pets. And it includes interest and money to which they are later entitled, such as insurance proceeds and securities dividends.” Most American adults own at least a few of these items, which means that most Americans possess an estate in the eyes of the law.
This becomes much more clear when Estate Planning is not done, and a person dies “intestate.” This is when Probate Court becomes the judge of how this person’s assets will be distributed, and in doing so, charges legal fees for the process. Probate Court directly follows a person’s line of succession, and if there are no living heirs, the state then takes ownership of all the deceased’s assets, without taking regard for close friends or loved ones that aren’t related.
To avoid ugly battles in Probate Court, Court fees, and the possibility that your wishes will be completely ignored, create an Estate Plan today. These documents will allow you to make countless decisions on your own behalf, after careful reflection and consideration and after discussions with your family, friends and loved ones.
Danna & Associates, PC has specialized in both Estate Planning and Elder Law since 1994. With over 25 years of experience, our firm is able to offer not only advice, but insight based on experience. Let us help you, answer all your questions, and make sure all your wishes are respected. Call 718.273.0300 for your free consultation today!
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