Most of us assume that anyone worth millions of dollars would certainly go to the trouble of creating a comprehensive estate plan, or at the very minimum a Last Will and Testament. As with many assumptions, that one would be incorrect. A surprising number of the rich and famous have died intestate, or without leaving behind a valid Will, including the following: Sonny Bono: Best known early on as half of “Sonny and Cher”, Bono later went on to become the mayor of Palm Springs, California and a … [Read more...] about The Rich, Famous, and Intestate
Probate is the court administered process by which a decedent’s final affairs are publically settled. During this process an executor is appointed, the estate is inventoried, debts and taxes are paid, an accounting is rendered and property is finally distributed to the beneficiaries. Not all estates require probate. So, when is probate necessary? Sole Property Ownership If any of your property is titled solely in your name or if you have an account where you have not listed a beneficiary, that … [Read more...] about Is Probate Necessary?
If you or a loved one passes away without a valid Last Will and Testament, intestacy laws, sometimes called succession laws, will be used to settle your estate. These laws, which are unique to each state, determine who inherits property when no Will is available to make the decision. If you do not create a Last Will and Testament or your Will is deemed inadmissable by a court of law, all property in your state of residence and any real property located in other states will be subject to a court … [Read more...] about How Intestacy Laws Could Affect Your Estate
When you pass away, your estate must be settled. If you have an estate plan, such as a Trust or Will, then your assets will be distributed in accordance with your estate planning documents. If you don’t have a Trust or Will then you will have died “intestate” and your estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state of your residence and any other state where you might own real estate. Now, before you start thinking this might not be so bad, consider this: When you die intestate, … [Read more...] about What Does Intestate Mean?