All right, once again I am not a lawyer, I am a Paralegal, so anything you read is not to be taken as, construed as, intended to be taken as legal advice. Let’s not forget when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involves you problem becomes an issue.
Okay let’s talk about Probate. Probate is a legal system focused on taking care of things after you die. Namely it takes care of who administers and how someone handles your Wills and your Estate after you leave. Simply put, Probate Law will make sure your wishes are followed and no one is cheated.
Let’s start with Wills. Wills are binding legal documents describing what you would like done after your death. For example you have an ancient beautiful grandfather’s clock that has been handed down through generations and you want it to go to your great-grandson Eric who has been in love with your clock since he was two. With a Will you can make sure he gets it. Also if you think there might be a huge fight over your clock and you’re afraid that fight might hurt your family, you can order your clock sold and have the money equally divided among your heirs. You can also leave directions on how to deal with your physical remains. If you have children, you can leave directions about who you want to take care of them.
Speaking of wills, let’s talk about a living will. A living will is once again a legal binding document. It deals with what you want done if things go bad with your health. You can direct how long you want to be kept on life support, or how far your doctors can go as they try to save your life. If your heart stops do you want CPR? Who can make decisions about your care or what life support measures can be used in your care. If can’t think for yourself but don’t need life support who do you want making decisions about your care.
Probate law also covers your life insurance policies. Making sure your loved ones gets their money and what you want done with it gets done.
An Estate is your money, for example bank accounts, even to your last tax refund and personal property such as cars, jewelry and art work. Of course let’s not forget your house.
SIDE-NOTE: Just so you know the infamous Estate Tax as of 2013 does not come into play unless you have property and assets worth over $5,250,000. I don’t know too many people in my world
with those kind of assets.
SIDE-NOTE; An Asset in the legal world is anything such as a house, car, jewelry bank accounts or stocks and bonds. Or say you have written a book and it sells fairly well. It can be anything as long as it has a money value attached to it.
This is Probate next week I will be getting into the actual costs of the Probate Legal System.