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Probate and Estate Disputes Archives

Explaining the responsibilities of a financial power of attorney

A power of attorney is in and of itself a very important document when putting together your estate plan. There is more to it than just naming a power of attorney. If you so choose, you can name a variety of different powers of attorney, one of them being a financial power of attorney. This is someone you choose to handle your finances when you become incapacitated or mentally unfit to make decisions.

Why should I update my will and estate documents?

Life is full of surprises and because of those surprises, you should have a will and the accompanying estate documents created as soon as you get your first job out of school. These documents will not only protect you, but also your assets, your family and other possessions when you die. So, why should I update my will and estate documents?

Destroying a will and creating a new one could help your estate

Having a will is an incredibly important part of protecting your estate. As we saw with the Prince estate saga, not having one can create a series of major complications. Additionally, you have to be ready and willing to change your will when the situation calls for it. Getting married, a death in the family, a newborn child -- these are just a few examples of life events that necessitate a change in your will.

Major decision made in Prince's estate dispute

Can you believe that more than a year has passed since Prince died? During that time, a major dispute came to light over his estate. Prince died without a will -- the legal term for this is dying "intestate" -- and as such, many people came forward to claim that they were rightful heirs to Prince's estate.

On the role of an executor and estate plans

When someone creates their estate plan, the role of executor is one of the most important issues that needs to be decided. The executor of an estate is in charge of ensuring that a person's last wishes are fulfilled as per the will, and that the estate is properly organized and handled. As such, it is a stressful responsibility that an executor takes on, but it can be fulfilling one.

Estate plans and probate: problems can arise

Every family and indeed every individual should build out their estate with a wide range of legal options, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney among other potential options. But even though the number of legal options is ultimately finite, there are an infinite number of circumstances that could be involved in any estate plan. No two families will be the same; no two wills will be the same; no two trusts are the same. Each and every estate has to be dealt with individually and addressed in a specific manner.

Challenging an estate is legally complex

In a perfect world, estates would never be disputed. The grantor would create his or her will early in their life and proactively manage it, ensuring that beneficiaries are properly designated and that they are receiving what they should get. The beneficiaries would understand the legal complexities of the situation. And, in general, there would be no feelings of anger or resentment based on what the beneficiaries receive.

When should you update your will?

Having a will is an essential part to your estate plan. But once you have created a will, it isn't as if you can just put your hands up and say "well, I'm done with this forever!" Wills must be updated frequently, and there are many specific circumstances that can arise that should cause you to look over your will and update it accordingly. If you don't update your will, you could risk your assets going to someone or some party that you didn't intend.

What does 'intestate' mean and why should you worry about it?

Having an estate plan should be a priority for every person, but obviously the ideal outcome isn't always reality. Not every person has an estate plan, and not every person even has the desire to even start one. It is simply unrealistic to think that everyone will have an estate plan, despite the clear advantages and benefits to having one.

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