There are intestacy laws on the books that would hold sway if you were to pass away without a will or any other estate planning documents. Your final debts would be paid, and ultimately, the assets that remain would be distributed in accordance with the intestate laws of succession.
Under these circumstances, it is very possible, if not likely, that your resources would not be passed along the way that you would have preferred. This is one major negative, but there are others, so the idea that estate planning is really not necessary is patently false.
In order for a will to be valid, it must be executed by an adult that is of sound mind. One of our offices is in Vermont, and in this state, you must sign your will in front of two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign it in front of you, and in front of one another.
The rules are slightly different in New York, where our other office is located. In the Empire State, you have to sign or acknowledge the will in the presence of two witnesses. You are also required to declare to these witnesses that the document is in fact your last will. Finally, they must sign the will in your presence.
Yes, an interested party can contest the validity of a will during probate. Acceptable grounds include incapacity, fraud, coercion, intimidation, and improper execution.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a resounding no. If you execute a will, you would name an executor in the document to act as the estate administrator. After you die, the executor would admit the will to probate, and the court would provide supervision during the process.
The exact duration will vary depending on the case in question, but it will typically take about eight months to a year if there are no major complications. No inheritances can be distributed while the estate is being probated by the court.
Absolutely not, there are different types of trusts that can be a better choice when certain circumstances exist. The trust that is ideal for the widest range of people is the revocable living trust. These vehicles provide multiple different advantages.
One of them is the fact that assets can be transferred outside of the time-consuming process of probate. Plus, if you establish a living trust, you can include spendthrift protections, and you can name a disability trustee to administer the trust in the event of your incapacity.
These are a handful the benefits, and you can learn more about this very useful estate planning tool if you download our free special report on living trusts.
Yes, and one of them would be used in conjunction with a revocable living trust. If you were to create one of these trusts, you may have some assets in your direct personal possession at the time of your passing. A pour over will would allow these assets to be absorbed by the trust after you are gone.
Another will that should be part of every estate plan is a living will. In this document, you state your preferences with regard to the utilization of artificial life-support measures.
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The best way to learn about wills and other estate planning devices is to sit down and discuss your options with a licensed estate planning attorney. If you are ready to do just that, we are here to help.
You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 802-879-7133 in Vermont and 518-389-6020 in Albany, New York. There is also a contact form on this website that you can use to send us a message.