If you are considering setting up a trust, you are most likely wondering how much it will cost you. Unfortunately, the standard lawyer answer is “it depends.”
This blog is part two of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will. Part One discussed an Application To Determine Heirship proceeding, the more formal court proceeding to determine heirs and order transfer of property. Sometimes, we determine after a review of the assets of the deceased loved one that a more informal, less expensive “Affidavit Of Heirship” would be sufficient. It is not always certain that third parties will accept the informal “Affidavit,” but because it is so much less expensive than the formal court proceeding, it may be worth trying this first.
Unfortunately, I get this call many times every day. If the property in the estate does not exceed the value of $75,000, not including the value of a homestead, a court proceeding called a “small estate affidavit” can sometimes be used. However, in most situations, this very simplified proceeding cannot be used. In those situations, there are generally are two options.
Which of these two options will be best varies with each situation, depending on the types of assets owned and the third parties who will be required to transfer the assets. Some third parties only will accept the court proceeding. Commonly, this could be brokerages and insurance companies. However, many third parties will accept the less expensive Affidavit of Heirship. Even title companies routinely accept an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer title to real estate unless there is a very large amount of money involved.
This is part one of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? Here I will discuss the more formal application for determination of heirship.
Most young parents don’t want to even think about the possibility of death and see no need for estate planning. However, if a tragedy struck and both parents of minor children were killed, the situation left for their loved ones to deal with is extremely complicated, expensive, and emotional.
Many people have heard the term “living trust” and think it is a magical estate planning tool for everyone. For some people, a living trust truly is a smart way to handle their estate, but for others, it is an unnecessary expense.
Today, there are many ways you can go about getting a will. To ensure your will accomplishes your wishes, while also avoiding the greatest expense and complication, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.
While not everyone needs a will, it’s wise to explore whether it would be a smart investment for you and your family’s future. I can explore with you whether the assets you own can be passed down without a will or whether having a will is really key to simple passage of title to assets on your death.
People frequently delay having a will drawn up because of concern for the cost. The cost of preparing an estate plan package is very reasonable. Compared to the expense you would be out to handle your estate without a will or other estate planning documents, it is a bargain.
A lot of people come to me with questions regarding what a will is, because it is so important for passing your legacy on to the next generation.