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Probate, Wills & Estate Planning

WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?

The “real” purpose of estate planning is to show love and respect for the people you care about. Upon your death, you don’t want to compel your family, friends and business partners who are involved with your estate to deal with a complicated, expensive and time consuming mess in administrating your estate. To the contrary, good estate planning creates a roadmap to ease the burden of estate administration. Our estate planning attorneys will listen to your needs and goals, make recommendations based upon your individual circumstances, and prepare documents including:
 

  • Wills

  • Testamentary Trusts in Wills for children and dependents

  • Naming Guardians in Wills in the event of both parents’ deaths

  • Trusts designed to minimize or eliminate state and federal estate tax

  • General Durable Powers of Attorney for financial matters

  • Durable Powers of Attorney for health care decisions

  • Health Care Directives (“Living Will”)

  • Living Trusts


     

WHAT IS PROBATE?

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For many families, probate is a scenario to be avoided after a loved one dies. Simply defined, probate is the process where your property must go through the court system to be distributed after you die. This is the formal process whereby ownership in the property is transferred to the beneficiary. Probate can involve estates for which there is a will or ones where the deceased did not have a will with instructions for property distribution.

Probate involves a proceeding in front of probate court where a will is validated and an executor is given the go-ahead to distribute property in accordance with the will’s instructions. Essentially, the executor of the will is given the green light and marching orders from the probate court to begin their work once the will is validated. Creditors are paid off and the property is then distributed.


As you can see, probate can be a costly and time consuming process that involves going into court. As a result, some families seek solutions that can keep them out of probate, both to minimize expenses and shorten the time frame where the beneficiaries can take possession of the property.

what is the next step?

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Whether your loved one passed yesterday or last year you need to contact a probate attorney at Hollins Law Office. We pride ourselves on providing honest care. If we cannot help you we will be sure to point you in the right direction.