Writing a will is an important part of the estate planning process, as it simplifies the process of distributing your assets and looking after your final wishes. This gives you the power to determine how your assets will be handled even after your death.
While it may not be pleasant to have to think about your own death, preparing a will offers a lot of benefits. One of them is that your loved ones will not have your estate to worry about in addition to grieving. Unfortunately, a lot of people still don’t leave behind a will – even celebrities.
What Happens to Money After You Die?
The sudden death of rock star Prince at age 57 was a shock to his legions of fans. But weeks after his April death the status of his $300 million estate remains in limbo, with hundreds of people – even a prisoner in Colorado – vying for a slice of the musician’s net worth.
So far, nobody has found a will indicating how Prince’s estate should be divvied up.
“It becomes a complicated mess,” when someone dies without a will, says Bill Van Sant, senior vice president and managing director at Girard Partners, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
While the spotlight on and scale of the Prince estate may be unusual, the situation isn’t. A 2014 survey from online legal-services company Rocket Lawyer and Harris Poll found that 64 percent of Americans don’t have a will. Read full article at US News…
As part of the estate planning process, an individual may also name the executor, who will be responsible for overseeing the estate distribution.
Typically, a person will name someone trustworthy as the executor of his or her estate. While it is indeed an honor to be named executor of a person’s estate, it is also a huge responsibility. It becomes your duty to handle the property of the deceased until it is all transferred to those who are entitled and all taxes are paid off.
The following post provides a better breakdown of the executor’s role:
Checklist: The Executor’s Role
If you have been selected to serve as an executor, you have an important responsibility. Fortunately, you are entitled, at the expense of the estate, to retain an attorney to guide you through the complicated probate process…
With the attorney’s guidance, you will have the authority and responsibility to perform the following tasks:
Obtain a copy of the latest will. Read the will and understand the instructions provided. Read full post at FindLaw…
It is also important to carefully consider whether you really wish to be named an estate executor. Depending on the situation, it could turn out to be a simple affair, or a difficult and taxing process. With about 1 in 8 executors describing the experience as a ‘complete nightmare’, you need to know what you are getting yourself into by agreeing to become an estate executor.
Estates are unique, so you could be looking at anything from a range of simple decisions to seriously contentious disputes. It could become even more difficult if you are unfamiliar with the details of the estate. You are in no way obliged to act as executor even if you are the named executor.
How Do I End My Obligations From Being the Executor of a Will?
An executor is responsible for carrying out a will’s written directions and settling the final affairs of the will’s author, or testator. If you were named as the executor of a deceased person’s will, you are responsible for the duties and legal obligations of handling his estate. Due to the amount of work involved or other personal circumstances, you might have to resign as executor before or after you’re appointed by the probate court. Read full post at Legal Zoom…
It’s worth noting, however, that you can only renounce probate if you have not already acted in your capacity as an executor. This includes any tasks that indicate you have accepted the executor role.
Attorney Jonathan Meek has helped many individuals navigate this challenging area of estate administration and he is ready to assist you as well. Contact Meek Law Firm today to discuss your options. Call (704) 848-6335 or use the contact form on the right of this page to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.