Key Terms relating to Probate Discerning Your Estate

When putting together a living will, estate, or trust for someone that has passed on, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the various options available. However, before making any decisions, there are specific steps you must take to properly document the wishes of the person who has passed away. First and foremost, it is essential to document the writing style or format used. Some examples of commonly used formats are English, block lettering, legal, dictate, legalese, and computer docket. The more formal or professional the will’s format, the more critical it is to document that fact.

Williams-Legal deceased estates do not always reflect the intentions of the testator. In these cases, it is wise to appoint an “executor” to administer the estate. This is the same individual who would have been chosen for the will if it were a living will. Once the will has been established, it can be changed by the appointed executor. This allows changes to the law without passing the second round of wills in line with the previous one. An executor can also request specific changes to the estate’s beneficiaries if the deceased intended to name them.

Another essential step in putting together a living will, or trust, is to decide what happens to the property held within the trust after the policy owner passes away. In most cases, the property is usually handed over to the personal representatives of the deceased estates.

Williams-Legal-deceased-estatesFor example, if the policy owner is married, their children will be given the property along with their spouse. If the owner is divorced, then the children are likely to split the property equally. In the case of a non-traditional probate scenario, like one in which the beneficiary is not a blood relative, the property may be allotted to other heirs.

The next step in putting together a will is to include information on who should receive the proceeds from the policy. Usually, this is simply the last-named in the decedent’s last will. If the policy owner was married, this could be stated as “in the name of” the surviving spouse. If the deceased person was not married but had children, the proceeds may be paid to the children or any designated beneficiary.

Other key terms relating to deceased estates are those relating to the testator’s beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those persons who are entitled to the deceased’s estate after their death. This can include children, parents, or others. It is good practice to document all of these key terms in a separate document, called a W-2 form, and execute the same when the decedent passes away.

There are several different ways to create probate dispositions. Different types of probate arrangements, such as subject to adjustment, are used in different situations. Most commonly, however, the most common way to create deceased estates is through a will, an essential legal document designed to express the beneficiary’s wishes for the deceased estate.

Another critical term relating to deceased estates is property ownership. In general, property owners pass their property ownership to their surviving tenants. However, some property owners choose to designate a specific spouse, child, or relative as the decedent’s legal successor. Again, a will is helpful to ensure that the future beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate receive their inherited property without concern about who the property belongs to after the decedent passes away.