Regardless of your wealth or level of income, estate planning is an important part of your overall financial plan. Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and at and after death. Developing a plan can help ease the difficult decisions loved ones may face, provide you greater control, ensure your privacy, and can provide security for your legacy and your loved ones.
A will is the foundation of an estate plan. Regardless of your net worth, it is important that you have a valid will that specifies your last wishes. If you die intestate (without a will), your property will be distributed according to Kentucky law, which may be vastly different from how you would choose to distribute the assets. In addition, your loved ones will not have legal instructions about your end-of-life care and burial.
Our attorneys will clearly explain the elements of a will and help you through each step. We can assist you with decisions such as naming an executor, choosing guardians for minor children, and distributing your assets.
When we review your assets, we will suggest a strategy for protecting certain assets from the expense and time of probate. By putting assets into the appropriate trusts, you can pass them to beneficiaries outside of the probate process if that is your goal. There are numerous types of trusts with different uses and benefits. It is best to discuss your specific needs with one of our lawyers.
Incapacity planning is something that everyone should think about, but is also something which no one wants to consider. While it is not fun to imagine what would happen if you are sick or injured, your family will thank you if you take the time to make a plan to spare them pain. By making a plan in advance, you also ensure you have some degree of control over your own destiny, even if you cannot speak up for yourself any longer. Some of the possible tools that should potentially be a part of your plan include:
These are just a few of many different tools that work to protect the autonomy of a person. The right plan will depend upon what you want to happen if the unthinkable occurs and you are left in a position where decisions about your fate are out of your control. Let the attorneys at Scoville-Bonham & Riley help you decide which plan is right for you.
The probate process is a formal legal process which is often necessary after a person has passed away. A deceased person’s loved ones can use the probate process whether the deceased person had a Will or died intestate (without a will). The process is intended to provide an orderly means of winding up the affairs of the estate. It provides a chance for beneficiaries to be notified of their inheritance; for assets to transfer formally to new owners; and for creditors to make claims. The probate process if
Scoville-Bonham & Riley assists clients with all legal matters related to probate. Probate can be a complicated process, although it is a common one that occurs after most deaths. We understand what is involved in probate and can represent executors, heirs or beneficiaries. We also represent those who want to contest a will. Whatever your situation, our experienced attorneys at Scoville-Bonham & Riley, PLLC can help you to navigate the legal system and make it work for you.