How can I plan for my estate?

Planning for your estate can be an important part of life that you should accomplish. It can be comforting for your family to know that everything is taken care of and that they will once you are gone. This can help your family and friends get the closure they need. By planning for your estate, you can retain control over your assets once you pass. Probate is the process that documents go through to prove they are valid. The probate process involves the validation of legal matters regarding a deceased person’s estate administration plans. After you pass, your family will not have to worry about dealing with the distribution of your possessions. Instead, you will be preparing for them, which can help ease their emotional situation and relieve some stress from the experience.

What documents are involved in probate?

A will is a legal document that undergoes the probate process to prove that it is valid in the eyes of the court. When a will is made by someone, they will outline who they want their possessions to go to. They may also choose an executor of their will. The executor is in charge of ensuring that the proper possessions are given to the right people as is outlined in the document. As an executor, they will have substantial responsibilities that require their cooperation. Beneficiaries of a will are the individuals who are named in the document to receive an asset from the deceased person. If the individual who created the will was not healthy or lucid enough to decide the terms of the will, it may not be considered valid. Upon laying out the will, the individual will have to sign it and have two witnesses present to ensure the state of mind of the individual.

What’s the difference between testate and intestate?

Testate means that a person dies with a valid will. The will has gotten the proper documentation and the Surrogate Court will oversee the probate of the will. Since the will has gone through the proper probate process, it proves that the will is valid and is a formal legal document. When the will is contested, it may be sent to the Superior Court. When an individual dies without a will, it means they died intestate. A representative may be appointed by the state to oversee the administration of the estate. This person may be the closest living relative. Certain family members, such as a living spouse or children, may be entitled to the estate.

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.