"Intestate" is simply a term used to describe a person who has died without a valid will. Make no mistake, intestate laws are not in place to ensure that the decedent's wishes are carried out. Neither are these laws in place to minimize tax liabilities. For example, state intestate laws may give only a portion of the decedent's estate to his or her spouse and the remaining portion to the decedent's child, even though the decedent would have desired to give the entire estate to his or her spouse.
The Kinard Law Office can assist you with your estate planning in a manner that will carry out your final wishes. We will assist you in understanding whether you should form a will or a combination of a will and trust to maximize your legacy to loved ones, and avoid unnecessary legal expenses and taxes. Each estate plan is tailored to each client because each client's circumstances are unique. The following services are offered:
A will is simply a directive prepared by an individual (testator) during his or her lifetime to dispose of his or her property at death. A well drafted will can minimize future disagreements between family members as well as ensure your assets are properly distributed.
Trusts hold specific assets for the benefit of another, as well as help avoid probate after the decedent's passing. Specifically, a trust is a relationship in which a individual (Grantor) transfers his real or personal property to a trust controlled by another party (the Fiduciary), who then holds the real or personal property for the benefit of another (Beneficiary). By establishing a trust, the grantor is doing, in advance, what the probate court would do at his or her death. The probate process can be bypassed entirely through a properly funded trust.
Guardianship is necessary to ensure your healthcare wishes are properly presented should you become incapacitated. We can assist you in appointing a guardian who will take responsibility for your financial, medical, and legal needs.
A healthcare power of attorney specifies your exact wishes regarding your medical treatment. When facing times of incapacity and you are not longer capable of making important decisions on your own behalf, a healthcare directive will speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself. This will insure your wishes are followed. We can also assist with burial instructions and organ donation designation directives as well.
A conservator is a person appointed by the court to manage the property of a minor or incapacitated person. A conservator may be appointed when an incapacitated person is unable to manage their property or business and has property that will be wasted without proper management.
These are contracts signed by both individuals prior to marriage ("pre-nup") or after marriage ("post-nup"). These contracts detail how the couple's assets and income will be distributed in the event of a separation or divorce, or upon death.
Proper planning now, can bring peace of mind that your estate will be distributed the way you desire upon your death. Many people have a tough time addressing issues such as what will happen after their death. Death is inevitable and avoiding the topic could be tremendously detrimental to the ones you love the most. Dying without a will or trust means that the State will have the authority to divide your property according to intestate succession laws.