Assets that are established with beneficiary designations avoid probate. These include bank and investment accounts, retirement plan accounts, annuities and life insurance. After death, upon proof to the company holding the asset that the owner has passed away, the beneficiary is able to have the asset transferred to him or her. Beneficiary designations generally take precedence over any other instructions in a will.
Many Americans don’t have a will, trust or other estate plan. If you don’t have a plan for your estate, it leaves your estate vulnerable to costly Probate court fees, potential legal battles and other difficulties for your loved ones after your passing. Estate planning can be an uncomfortable process, but it is necessary to ensure the wealth and property you’ve accumulated over your lifetime is fairly endowed to your family.
Wills & Trusts
Popa Law will help you navigate the complex world of wills and trusts. While each individual situation is different, it is important to remember that only through a will or trust can you be sure your assets will be distributed as you desire after your death. Trusts deal with the specific assets that have been transferred into the trust, while wills control the distribution of all of assets that are not placed into a trust or controlled by beneficiary designations.
Your objectives and the nature and extent of your assets will be considered in determining whether a will, trust or some other type of entity is best suited for your circumstances. In certain instances, the use of a trust can substantially reduce the costs to your beneficiaries in administering and distributing your assets at death.
Popa Law will help prepare ancillary documents such as power of attorneys, health care power, surrogate appointments and living wills. The absence of these type of documents can result in delays in handling business and financial affairs, and difficulties in times of medical need.
Even if you already have estate planning documents, you should consult your attorney every few years, or when a major event occurs in your life, to ensure your estate plan is complete and up to date.