Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax.

Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own – your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common – you can’t take it with you when you die but still you need estate planning and probate law.

An estate planning attorney helps and guides you in choosing the correct options for maintaining your estate after death or in case of incapacity. An experienced attorney seeks to fully understand your desires and goals regarding the maintenance of your estate and other property and suggests ways to achieve those wishes. Estate planning lawyers help people write instructions for the future handling of their property, finances, healthcare, and the future support and care of their loved ones.

When it comes to providing for your family’s financial future, estate planning/ Probate law is the most important step you can take to ensure your assets and their legal rights are protected.  Having a proper estate plan in place guarantees your assets will be properly divided and won’t fall into the hands of the court.

Probate law is the legal process whereby a will is proved in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased

The very first step in the granting of a probate is the legal process of properly overseeing the estate of a deceased person. It involves resolving all the claims and then distributing the property under the will of the property holder. But there is another scenario and that is if the person who passed away had any partnership or there was a co-owner of the business or property then there is no need for probate laws as the property will automatically and legally be owned by the co-owner for example if the deceased person owned bank accounts or property jointly with another person, the co-owner will now be the complete owner of these accounts.

When is probate law needed?

Probate may be needed in the following cases:

  • For transferring the title to the decedent’s assets (assets like bank accounts, real property, stock etc.)
  • For collecting debts owed to the deceased
  • For settling a dispute among all the people claiming to be the owners of the deceased’s property
  • Solving disputes about the validity of the deceased’s will

So one should definitely go for estate planning/Probate law services which are particularly focused on providing advice and direction on techniques and approaches for avoiding probate and related expenses, and the care of individuals who cannot care for themselves, whatever their age.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at to contact an estate attorney today.

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