Estate planning is more than simply drafting and executing a Will and a Trust. Estate planning is the comprehensive process of arranging for the administration and distribution of a person's estate during the person's life, in the event the person becomes incapacitated, and after the person's death.
The estate plan can also work as Probate avoidance. If the plan is done correctly and then followed by the person, Probate may not be required upon the person's death.
When drafting an estate plan, the drafter must take into account the specific situation of the client or clients that you are drafting the plan for. Although many estate plans are similar, estate plans are not one size fits all.
Estate planning is not only for the elderly or ill. Every person who owns property or who has children should seriously consider estate planning to ensure their children and their estate goes where they want them to go. Nominating guardians for minor children in the event of the death of both parents is one of the most important steps for a young parent to include in a Will, who otherwise may feel they don't need a Will.
If a person dies without an estate plan in place, both Wisconsin and Minnesota have statutory rules that dictate how the estate assets will be distributed, and many time that may include people that you do not want to leave property to.
Probate is the legal process in which a deceased persons estate is collected and then distributed according to the decedent's wishes, if the decedent created a Will or a Will and a Trust (Testate), or according to state statues if the decedent did not have a Will (Intestate).
If the decedent had an estate plan in place, Probate may not be required, but there may still be some legal hurtles that need to be jumped in order to carry out the decedent's wishes in their estate plan and to legally transfer the decedent's property.
The Probate process can be very intimidating and requires a lot of work for the person appointed as the Personal Representative or Executor. The courts have many rules that are required to be followed and if they are not followed correctly, the cost and length of the Probate continue upward delaying the final distribution of the decedent's assets.
You can expect a Probate action to last at least six months to a year and the costs of conducting a Probate are hard to determine and will depend on whether there are contests or claims made against the Estate or the Personal Representative that require court intervention.
A deed is a signed, and usually recorded, legal document that transfers an interest in real property from one person or entity to another person or entity.
There are several types of deeds, and it is important that the correct deed is used in every situation, or you may not receive or transfer what you are expecting.
Some of the types of deeds include Warranty Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Limited Warranty Deeds, Contract for Deeds or Land Contract, a Personal Representative's Deed (of Sale or of Distribution), and a Trustee's deed, to name a few.
A lingering interest in real property clouds title to the real property and can become difficult and expensive to clear after the passage of time or the death of someone who held a lingering interest inadvertently.
For spouses, while one spouse may buy real property, both spouses will hold an interest that must be accounted for, therefore, both spouses must sign a deed transferring that property even though the spouses name doesn't show up on the title.
A notary public is an individual issued an appointment by the Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions to serve the public as an impartial witness, performing notarial acts as are allowed or required by law.
This typically involves the witnessing of a person's signature on a document after confirming that the person signing is who they say they are and that they understand (at least generally) what they are signing.
Notarial duties may also require that the person signing the document swear of affirm to the contents of the document being truthful. This will depend upon the type of document being notarized.