We’ve all heard it time and time again, “Get a Will. Get a Trust.” Family members drop hints when we’re expecting our first children; banner ads pop up asking, “what will happen to your assets when you die?” It’s not that we are against creating a Will or Trust; it just tends to fall behind on our changing to-do lists. Work, family responsibilities, and extra-curricular activities take precedence. When we do find the time, sometimes we hold off a little bit longer because “what if we have another baby, if we get remarried, if we get divorced?”
A Trust, and sometimes a Will, is critical, and yes, it does need to evolve with the important changes in your life. However, not having Trust or Will has far worse consequences than moving your schedule around to secure one.
At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, our exceptional team is here to see that your affairs are put in order. Our Santa Clarita, California, Trust and Will attorneys will help you prevent the courts from making decisions about your assets. Consult with attorney Andrew Cohen today and make sure your family is secure.
“Black Panther” Star Leaves is Estate Exposed
Chadwick Boseman lost a four-year battle with colon cancer. His estate is estimated at $939,000, not including assets like life insurance, qualified retirement accounts, individual retirement accounts. A large portion of his estate may get eaten up by court costs and fees as it works its way through the Probate process.
Simone Ledward, Boseman’s wife, has asked the courts to appoint her administrator with limited authority. If Boseman had a will, he could have passed down up to $11.8 million per person tax-free. Unfortunately, probate can be a long and arduous process. If Boseman had had a Trust, his estate and his family could have avoided probate court and any public-facing process.
How Does Probate Work
Probate can last anywhere from months to years.
- An executor of the estate is chosen. Sometimes multiple people petition to be the executor, which can delay the process. Their duties will involve locating all assets, securing those assets, contacting the deceased’s creditors, making sure the deceased is current on their taxes, and then the process of distributing the estate can begin
- Often, probate is delayed due to limited court availability, types of assets involved, or multiple beneficiaries
- If the estate owes taxes, the paperwork filed with the IRS can take anywhere from six to eight months. In times of the pandemic, the IRS is far more behind.
- Unusual assets, like multiple ownership in business or parcels of real estate, can complicate distributing
- Sometimes a deceased individual has a will, but it is not up-to-date, it is challenged, or not clearly written.
An important aspect of probate is that it can be avoided. A well-written and clear Trust can go a long way to securing your wishes should the unthinkable happen.
Call the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen Today
With decades of Trust and Will experience, the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen are the most skilled attorneys for your estate planning needs. Estate plans focused around a Trust are all about the details. Our Santa Clarita, California estate planning attorneys will prepare a Trust with the precision needed to fulfill your wishes. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 661-481-0100.