Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law
Do I have to set up a trust?
Not necessarily. Whether or not you should consider setting up a trust depends on your individual needs. The utilization of pay on death or transfer on death designations and beneficiary deeds may allow a person to avoid the necessity of a trust.
Do powers of attorney guarantee that a person will not need a guardian or a conservator later in life?
No. While powers of attorney may be helpful in avoiding the need to establish a guardianship or conservatorship, there are certain circumstances under which the establishment of a guardianship and conservatorship may still be necessary.
Does having a will alone guarantee ones estate will not have to be administered through the probate court?
No. A will alone does not guarantee anyone that his or her estate will avoid administration through the probate court.
Do only wealthy individuals have estates?
No. Everyone has an estate. It is the value and the size of the estate that changes based upon the wealth of the deceased person.
What causes an estate to have to be administered through the probate court?
If a person dies leaving tangible personal property assets that exceed $75,000 or real property that exceeds $100,000, as valued at the time of his or her death, AND the person dies intestate or without having properly disposed of his or her property during life, then the administration of the person’s estate will likely have to proceed through the probate court.