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WILLS & PROBATE

Introduction

Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara was part of the Portuguese autocracy. He had an absent mother, and a nanny raised him. He loved motorbikes, shooting, and drinking. He was rich, had no family anymore, and few friends.

He thought the state had been robbing him of his money his whole life.

‘They won’t get a penny!’ he claimed. So, he left his fortune (two luxury estates, several bulging bank accounts, motorbikes, and luxury cars) to seventy lucky heirs he picked from the telephone book.

‘I’ve never heard of him in my life,’ one heir exclaimed.

Though it might be tempting to go out with such a grand gesture, we won’t advise you to. It is better to err on the side of caution and take your will seriously.

 

Why should I have a will?

It’s the how, the what and the why

A will is a gift you leave your family. It is a legal document that protects your family but also spells out how you’d like things to be after your death.

A will:

• Distributes your estate to your heirs in the way you want it to. Don’t want to leave Spendthrift Susan anything? You don’t have to.
• It spells out what should happen with minor children – who should raise them?
• It speeds up the probate process
• A will minimizes estate taxes
• If you’ve got a will, you can appoint someone honest and trustworthy to handle all your last affairs. This person is called the executor of the will.

It may feel daunting. How to go about drawing up a will? We can help. We are more than capable of shaping your wishes into a legal document.

We might have given Luis Carlos different advice. Perhaps donating his entire estate to the Hell’s Angels would’ve been a better way to let his legacy live on.

 

What about probate?

What is probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process during which assets are first gathered and then distributed among heirs. The deceased’s debts are paid, and the rest is divided among the heirs.

The seventy heirs in our story most probably had to wait for all the real estate and luxury vehicles to be sold before each of them got a few thousand euros.

 

Is the process easy?

There are different types of probate, and the process also differs in different states.

The will, of course, comes first. To go through the probate process, there must be a blueprint (the will) that tells the executor what to do.

Secondly, the will must be admitted to probate. If there was no will, an administrator must be appointed to handle the affairs of your loved one.

So, in short, the process is not that difficult, but there are quite a lot of different issues to keep in mind. The probate process is like a tree with many branches. Smaller side-branches spring from the main one. If there was a will, it constitutes one branch and a series of actions. No will, and we go to another part of the tree.

We can, of course, explain it all here, but it will be much easier to look at your case.

In Kentucky country, for example, there are more than twelve forms that must be submitted in the probate process. We are willing to bet that you would be asleep reading here before we get to the second form. Some forms may not even apply to you.

 

No, really. What can you do for me?

Well, if you insist. If you choose us to help you with a probate process, we can:

• Prove the validity of a will in probate court
• We can help to appoint an executor or an administrator of the will
• We can identify assets, find debts, pay them, and distribute assets to heirs. (We bet Luis Carlos’s attorneys had loads of fun with this.)
• It can be difficult to prove ownership of certain types of property or a will may be challenged. This is where our service will come to its full right.

 

Conclusion

Contact our office so that we can help you draw up your will or help with the probate process.

Our advice to Luis Carlos probably would have been to think again, but in the end, what he wanted to do with his money was his decision. We’ll respect your decisions, too.

 

Resources

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jan/16/gilestremlett.mainsection
https://estate.findlaw.com/wills/top-ten-reasons-to-have-a-will.html
https://kycourts.gov/resources/publicationsresources/Publications/P88ProbateGuideforProSeLitigants609.pdf

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Legal Services Flat Fee:

Individual Simple Will – $150

Simple Wills for Spouses, Reciprocal – $200

The amounts listed above are typical flat fees offered.  However, depending upon the specific circumstances of your case, we reserve the right to deviate from the listed amounts above as we deem appropriate.

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Living Will

A living will explains and details your wishes to your family and physicians on the subject of healthcare options should you become incapacitated with an end-stage medical condition. Let your loved ones know your wishes far in advance with a properly prepared and executed living will.

Probate

Probate is a court-managed legal process that settles debts and title to property passing from a decedent to his or her heirs. Probate proceedings generally take place in courts established in the county where a decedent lived until the time of his/her death. If your loved one’s estate requires probate, we can become involved in the estate administration process and manage it for you with detailed care and due diligence.

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Estates & Trust

Dying without a will surrenders your control over your estate with the potential result that your heirs might not receive what you may have wanted. Wills precisely express a person’s wishes with respect to their belongings after he or she dies.

Most states require very specific procedures and precautions relative to executing a will. Do not let an improperly constructed or improperly executed will cause a court to deny probate of your will, thereby ignoring the wishes you have thoughtfully expressed about the disposition of your estate.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney permits you to designate one or more individuals to act on your behalf with respect to matters other than those dealing with medical care. These can be created to permit parties to act on your behalf either upon its execution or only in the event you are incapable of acting on your own behalf due to incapacity. To provide necessary continuity relating to your affairs you should consider implementing a power of attorney.

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Last Will & Testiment

Dying without a will surrenders your control over your estate with the potential result that your heirs might not receive what you may have wanted. Wills precisely express a person’s wishes with respect to their belongings after he or she dies.

Most states require very specific procedures and precautions relative to executing a will. Do not let an improperly constructed or improperly executed will cause a court to deny probate of your will, thereby ignoring the wishes you have thoughtfully expressed about the disposition of your estate.

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