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Type your paragraph here.What is an Estate Plan?

An Estate Plan Is simply a name for the process of transferring property and assets from one generation to another. Your Estate is the total property and assets including financial, retirement accounts and insurance policies owned prior to distribution through a will or trust.

Who is an Estate Plan for?

An Estate Plan is for everyone. Many people assume that Estate Planning is only for the rich, but this is a big misconception. There are no minimum asset requirements. Many people do not think that they have enough assets to justify estate planning, but if they have any property or assets, there are estate planning concerns. Additionally, if there are any children under the age of eighteen (18), there are definite estate planning concerns. Who will raise those children? Who will manage any cash or assets the children might inherit?

Why Should I do my Estate Planning Now?

Most people put off estate planning because it involves more than listing what assets are owned and who is to receive those assets when someone passes away. Estate planning involves attitudes and feelings about death, property ownership, business arrangements, marriage and family relationships. Adult children will often put off talking with their parents about their estate because they do not want to appear greedy, or because they cannot imagine a time without their parents. Parents may also avoid talking to their adult children about estate planning because they do not want to hurt feelings, or they truly are not aware of all the options that are available to them. Although it may be uncomfortable talking about these things, it is worth spending some time and money to avoid the confusion, delay, expense and quarreling that is almost sure to occur if someone dies without a plan. If a plan is not made, state law will decide what happens to the estate, regardless what the deceased may have intended.

          WILLS AND TRUSTS
Everyone has heard the terms "will" and "trust," but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan.

One main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only after you die, while a trust takes effect as soon as you create it. A will is a document that directs who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. By contrast, a trust can be used to begin distributing property before death, at death or afterwards. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a "trustee," holds legal title to property for another person, called a "beneficiary." A trust usually has two types of beneficiaries -- one set that receives income from the trust during their lives and another set that receives whatever is left over after the first set of beneficiaries dies.

A will covers any property that is only in your name when you die. It does not cover property held in joint tenancy or in a trust. A trust, on the other hand, covers only property that has been transferred to the trust. In order for property to be included in a trust, it must be put in the name of the trust.

Another difference between a will and a trust is that a will passes through probate. That means a court oversees the administration of the will and ensures the will is valid and the property gets distributed the way the deceased wanted. A trust passes outside of probate, so a court does not need to oversee the process, which can save time and money. Unlike a will, which becomes part of the public record, a trust can remain private.

Wills and trusts each have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a will allows you to name a guardian for children and to specify funeral arrangements, while a trust does not. On the other hand, a trust can be used to plan for disability or to provide savings on taxes. Your elder law attorney can tell you how best to use a will and a trust in your estate plan.

ESTATE PRESERVATION

          WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. It includes:

proving in court that a deceased person's will is valid (usually a routine matter)
identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property
having the property appraised
paying debts and taxes, and
distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there's no will) directs.

Typically, probate involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The lawyers and court fees are paid from estate property, which would otherwise go to the people who inherit the deceased person's property. To see everything Nolo has to offer when it comes to estates, executors, and probate

ELDER LAW

Elder Law and Special Needs Law is defined by the clients to be served. In other words, the attorney who practices Elder Law or Special Needs Law works primarily with people as they age and people with disabilities. 

Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorneys use a variety of legal tools and techniques to meet the goals and objectives of their clients. Elder and Special Needs Law attorneys typically work with other professionals in various fields to provide their clients quality service and ensure their needs are met.