Many people have questions about handling their passing. Estate planning can be one of those biggest concerns, but that is why it is important to hire an attorney to complete your estate plan. Our probate attorneys in McAllen are capable of handling every technical document and legal tasks related to your estate plan. Read a few common questions our legal team is asked about estate planning today.
The Basics: What is a Will?
Before we answer questions, we must know what exactly estate planning is. You can dictate the distribution of properties like estates and other valuable belongings to your loved ones following your death on a written document called a will. The will is a final testament that honors your wishes as to who gets what.
If There is No Will Written, Who Gets My Property?
Who gets your property all depends on who is your closest relative. Probate courts ultimately get to decide how your belongings are distributed. Nothing can be passed or taken by anybody without being passed through the court system. This reason alone is why our probate attorneys in McAllen hold firm to the importance of fighting for your loved one’s rights to your estate assets.
What is the Deadline for the Will to Hit the Courts?
Although it normally does not take that long to file a case, the deadline for probate is four years after the relative passes. The will remains valid until those four years are up and the case is filed or “admitted”.
Do All My Valuables Have to Pass Through Probate?
Not necessarily. Assets that can pass through beneficiaries without going through the court system, include:
- Bank Accounts
- Insurance Proceeds
- Retirement Funds
However, for a bank account, it must be joint or the other individual must be signed on to receive funds from the diseased.
In the case of a bank account, the joint user must claim or apply for probate. If no one claims within the full 90 days, the court can order bank statements to be released and another relative can put a claim on the money.
Who Pays for My Debts Post Death?
Debts are normally covered through the actual estate so no weight will be carried on your loved ones, but if filed through the IRS, Medicaid, or other creditors they could have a claim of the estate as repayment.
What Needs to Be Done to Acquire My Diseased Loved Ones Car?
In terms of motor vehicles, an Affidavit of Heirship for Motor Vehicles. All heirs must agree to the title transfer under their name before receiving the vehicle. You must sign and get the Affidavit notarized by an official. No probate court approval is needed.
Who Gets My Small Estate?
This is the easy transfer of property if the estate is under $50,000. The heir (most of the time the spouse) must be witnessed by two witnesses who are not incumbent to the possessions.
What Roles Do Trusts Play in Estate Planning?
A trust is an arrangement that allows a third party to help manage and keep your possessions safe for the beneficiaries. Benefits of a trust include:
- That trusts are private
- Safeguarding assets to avoid probate after death
- If children are underage this allows for later distribution once a child comes to age so they don’t blow through your hard-earned funds
Talk to Our Probate Attorneys in McAllen
At Barrera and Associates, we focus on what’s important; our integrity, loyalty, strength, and most importantly our clients. Our experienced legal team is here to answer all your court questions. Take advantage of our offer of free estimates today and request a consultation today.