It's never too early to start thinking about estate planning, and The Law Office of Jane Lane, P.C. is ready to help you through the entire process. Whether you're beginning the intimidating process of creating a will, need to appoint a legal guardian, or have recently lost a loved one, turn to probate attorney Jane Lane for compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance.
Wills and trusts are the legal documents involved in the estate planning process. There are some key differences between the two. While a trust takes immediate effect, a will takes effect after death. A will covers any assets that are in your name; it does not cover assets held in a trust. In order for assets to be included in a trust, it must be put in the name of the trust. Another key difference between the two is that a will passes through probate, while a trust does not. The court oversees the administration of a will. Trusts can remain private, which can save money and time.
It's the probate court that decides the legal credibility of a person's will and grants or denies its approval. If the court approves a will, probate is granted to the executor. The executor then follows through with directions outlined in the will. A probated will may be enforced by the executor in court when needed.
When a person dies without a will, it is known as dying intestate. The probate court appoints an administrator who is responsible for attending to the financial affairs of the decedent and ensuring that assets are distributed in accordance to the law. Basic duties of the appointed administrator include taking an inventory of assets, paying off debts and distributing assets. Having a properly drafted will simplify the probate process. Let attorney Jane Lane draft up your will, so things run smoothly for heirs and beneficiaries.
A power of attorney and a guardianship are the legal tools to allow someone to act in your position should you become incapacitated. While you choose who you want to act for you with a power of attorney, the court chooses guardianship. A power of attorney is an estate planning document that can be limited or unlimited for someone to take over your affairs. If an adult becomes incapable of making decisions due to a physical injury or mental disability, the court may appoint a guardian or conservator to make those decisions. It's a legal relationship between the incapacitated person and the guardian.