Tag: probate

Estate Planning for Your Home-Simple Will, Transfer on Death Affidavit or Revocable Trust?

You own your home and want to ensure that it passes to particular loved ones upon your death but you’re not sure the best way to do it. This blog post will break down your options for you.

First, it is important to look at your deed and determine how the property is held. Often married couples have a survivorship deed. With a survivorship deed, upon the death of one spouse, the real estate transfers to the surviving spouse outside of probate. One need only record an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse with Death Certificate to effectuate the transfer. If the home is in your individual name, or you own a partial… Read the rest

What is an Advancement and How Does it Work?

An advancement is a gift given during life to a future heir with the intent that the gift be treated as part of the heir’s inheritance.  For example, a Mother has a Last Will and Testament stating that $50,000 will go to her daughter and $50,000 will go to her son.  While living, Mother gives a $20,000 advancement to her son.  Upon Mother’s death, the son will receive $30,000 and the daughter will receive $50,000.  As the son received $20,000 of his inheritance during life, he will receive $20,000 less upon his Mother’s death.

An advancement is only effective if it is declared in a contemporaneous writing… Read the rest

8 Key Tips to Drafting a Personal Care Agreement for Medicaid Planning Purposes

If you are considering drafting a Personal Care Agreement for Medicaid planning purposes, please review the following 8 Key Tips.

What is Probate Property and Why Do I Need it for My Will to Operate?

Probate property is property that does not have a mechanism to transfer ownership at death.  Examples of mechanisms to transfer ownership at death are beneficiary designations or a transfer on death designation affidavit. 

Examples of probate property are bank accounts without beneficiary designations, automobiles titled in one person’s name, houses titled in one person’s name and without a transfer on death designation affidavit, household items, family heirlooms, etc.

A Will only dictates the transfer of probate property.  A Will has no bearing on non-probate property.

For example:… Read the rest

When Attempts to Avoid Probate Go Very Wrong

Probate is seen by most as a very negative process and one to be avoided at all cost.  Probate is not the big, bad wolf, it is simply the legal process that takes places after someone dies.  The primary purpose of the probate process is to pay the deceased person’s debts and taxes and transfer his property to his heirs and beneficiaries.  True, probate is time consuming and can be costly.  However, sometimes an attempt to avoid probate can end up costing a person much more.

Example- John, hearing about the horrors of probate, decides to gift his home, which he purchased in 1951, to his children now,… Read the rest