Do All Of A Decedent’s Assets Go Through Probate, Or Are There Non-Probate Assets?

Probate assets consist only of assets owned by the decedent at death that do not pass automatically (i.e., by operation of law) to the intended beneficiaries. A person’s will deals only with probate assets – it does not control...

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What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies of proving the validity of a will or establishing who is entitled to receive the decedent’s property under state intestate succession laws if there is no will. The...

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Who Are The Parties Involved In A Trust?

The person who creates a trust is called the creator, the settlor, or the grantor. The trustee is the person or persons who hold title to the trust property in their name. The trustee has a fiduciary duty...

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The Trust As Part Of An Estate Plan

To the layperson, trusts can appear complicated. People often think trusts are only for the very wealthy. In reality, trusts can be useful for people of all income levels. A trust is a legal arrangement under state law governed by...

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What Is An Estate Plan?

From a simple standpoint, many people initially think of an estate plan as having a will. On the more complicated end, some think of an estate plan as an elaborate arrangement only rich people need to plan who gets...

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What Happens If Someone Dies Without An Estate Plan In Place?

A person who dies is known as the “decedent.” A decedent who dies without a will is known as dying “intestate.” If a person dies without a will, a court of law must follow state law (instead of the decedent’s...

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What is a “Trust” and Who Needs One?

Estate planners are often asked whether trusts are only for the wealthy. Though it is not necessary for some people of modest means to establish a trust, it can be a useful estate planning tool, even if you are...

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