Many people are afraid of drawing up a will and doing other estate planning because of the perceived high cost. The truth is, drawing up a will is a small cost compared to the cost of probate of an estate if you die without a will and own almost any property.
For a simple “Mom and Pop” will, where spouses leave everything to each other, if surviving, or on the death of the survivor to their adult children, the cost is not likely to be more than $500 per person. Even if trust provisions are added to the will for possible minor beneficiaries, the cost is still likely around $750 per person.
Families frequently come to me needing to know how to figure out who gets what when a loved one dies without a will. Unfortunately, the answer is that they may be in for a lot of expense and time in a very complicated legal proceeding.
If you ask me whether you should incorporate or not, I will give you the typical lawyer response, “it depends”. Each situation is different and depends on many factors.
Liability Protection For Personal Assets
Income Tax Pro’s & Con’s
Business Management Pro’s & Con’s
Learn more about these three factors below.
Estate planning isn't just for rich or older individuals. Even young, asset-poor 20-somethings should start thinking about how their property will be distributed in the event of a tragedy. Drawing up an estate plan is not as much an action you need to take for yourself, but one you should take for your loved ones.
Just like an older individual, a young, single person has as much need for a will to designate who would receive anything in the event of his or her death. Whether you have a little or a lot, without a will, the State of Texas will assume your parents should receive your estate. This may not be your preference. Therefore, creating an estate plan will help ensure your wishes are met.
In addition, in the event of your passing, a loved one would also have to spend a great deal of money to go through an estate administration process. If you draw up a will, you could prevent your parents from enduring this stressful, expensive situation.
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.