When someone dies without a will, they are said to have passed ‘intestate.’ When that occurs, state law governs the distribution of all the individual’s tangible and intangible property – their estate. Alternatively, a person can elect to prepare a document that directs how their estate should be distributed, who should take what, and who should be in charge of making that distribution. This document is a will.
There are laws governing the signing and witnessing of a will which, if they aren’t complied with, can render a will invalid. I, of course, assist my clients by preparing wills that satisfy the required legal formalities, but also, by offering my clients advise on how to structure their estate to effectuate their final wishes. That is to say, most clients come to me wanting to make sure that their families and friends are provided for, and my job is to ensure that happens in the most efficient and legally sound way possible.
If you have been appointed to serve as the executor or personal representative of a person who has recently passed, or if you stand to inherit either from someone’s will, or from a family member without a will by operation of law, my knowledge of the probate process can ensure that things go smoothly for you, and that you receive what it is you are entitled to.
At our first meeting, I will explain the probate process, and get an understanding of your individual circumstances. We will then determine what steps to take, and I will prepare the necessary legal documents to put our plan into action.