Dover Estate Lawyer

Are you interested in making sure your assets benefit your loved ones after you pass away? If so, contact an experienced Dover estate attorney who will consider every contingency.

When your relatives know you have numerous assets that could potentially be split among them when you die, making a plan that will establish who gets what is a wise step to take in ensuring that your wishes for your accounts and assets are carried out as you wanted.

There are a number of points of interest involved in the planning of your estate. When you’re searching for a professional to help you make sure you’re covered, enlisting the help of a Dover estate lawyer at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor can provide an ideal path for you.

Probate and Your Estate

Estate planning in Dover includes going over all you possessions and making a plan for how your benefits should be divided among your beneficiaries after your death. It’s important that the plans for your estate are established while you are still alive so your family can avoid dealing with probate court.

Your estate will enter probate court in the event that you possessed property or when your assets surpass $30,000. At the point when your estate enters probate, the court system ends up handling the dispersal of your assets and executing your will unless you appointed an executor prior to your death.

In probate, your agent will pay any outstanding bills or assessments, calculate the value of your estate, and ensure that the assets listed in your will are appointed to your designated recipients. The point of probate court is to anticipate and prevent problems with your estate and guarantee that your obligations are dealt with before your remaining assets can be split among recipients.

Creating Your Will

Among the most essential parts of arranging your estate is establishing a strong will and testament. Doing so can accelerate probate court if your will has been authenticated before a public accountant or notary, although you are not legally required to have this done.

Composing your will is an excellent opportunity for you to leave certain things to your relatives, settle on an agent for your estate, choose the person who will be able to make decisions on your behalf when you aren’t able to, and name the person or people who will be responsible for raising your children and taking care of any remaining property you own.

In the event that you are unable to create a will before your passing, your property may be separated among your closest relatives or the ones the court is able to locate. If no one is found, the state can take possession of your remaining assets and property.

When a Will Is Disputed in Dover

When a disappointed relative has reason to believe that you would have included him or her in your will as a beneficiary, despite the name being left out, he or she may choose to challenge it. The relative will have sixty days to do so after the executor of your will opens your estate in probate.

But if you and your estate attorney in Dover add a “no-contest clause” to your will, beneficiaries will be barred from challenging it. If they do contest the will, they may forfeit any assets you might have left for them.

You also have the option of pre-validating your will before you die. Doing so shows the court that you were mentally capable when you chose who would be included in your will. Pre-validated wills may not be disputed by any beneficiary.

Trusts and How They Pertain to Your Estate

Trusts are essentially an understanding with a third party, or “trustee,” who hangs on to your assets for the sake of the recipients in your will so they are hopefully able to bypass probate court and, ideally, limit the taxes and fees your beneficiaries will be required to pay for the assets you designated for them.

Choosing a Healthcare Proxy

During the planning of your estate, it is often important to have an advance directive with a designated healthcare proxy of your choice. This is someone who can make your medical choices on your behalf if you become physically or mentally unable to.

This intercessor’s decision will not be the final say, as your advance directive should specifically state what medical decisions you would make, such as whether you would choose to be fed with a feeding tube or hooked up to a ventilator if you can no longer breathe on your own. Your proxy will, however, be the person to make those decisions that are not outlined in your advance directive.

It is critical that you are specific about what your choices would be in your advance directive. Make sure to have a very open and honest conversation with your assigned proxy about what you would want to happen so that, if it becomes necessary, he or she can ensure your wishes are followed. Your estate lawyer in Dover can help you make sure you’ve covered your medical bases.

The Power of Attorney

The power of attorney carries essentially the same responsibilities as the healthcare proxy does. The healthcare proxy will make decisions that pertain to your health, whereas the durable power of attorney makes decisions that pertain to your property, money, and other assets when you can no longer do so.

Dover Estate FAQ

Due to the complicated nature of estate planning, many people have a difficult time processing how much information there really is and determining which aspects will apply to their lives. For this reason, our Dover estate planning lawyers have compiled a few of the most common questions our clients have asked.

What happens if someone dies without a will?

At the point when someone passes on without a will, the court assumes control of his or her home and uses any assets to repay any debts before eventually dispensing the remaining funds and property to  close relatives or other family members who can be located. On the off chance that there are no relatives to claim your estate, the state will assume responsibility for your assets.

What is the purpose of a trustee?

The point of having a trustee is to have an unbiased third party hold onto the assets that can be kept out of probate court and in a trust when you die. Your trustee will ensure that the assets in your trust are distributed among your designated beneficiaries. The motivation behind a trust is to stay away from probate court and avoid using any money you left behind for the repayment of expenses or bills.

What is the best way to structure an inheritance?

Choosing how to structure the inheritance you plan to leave is a personal choice that only you can make. Your assets can be dispersed between your beneficiaries in various ways. You might open up a trust in which you can set certain limitations as you see fit, or you may leave your property or assets to your heirs directly. Your Dover estate planning attorney can discuss all of your options with you.

Consult with a Dover Estate Attorney

For more detailed information about estate planning and help putting this information into practice, reach out to the team at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor. We can help ensure that your assets reach the right hands and your wishes are protected after you pass away.  

Schedule your consultation by giving a Dover estate lawyer a call at 302-734-8400 or filling out the convenient contact form at the bottom of this page.