Wills and probate are two commonly used words in the elder law world. While many people have probably heard these terms, they may not understand the difference. Learn how a will and the probate process can affect you and your loved ones after a passing.
Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament is probably the most well-known component of estate planning. It is a legal document that directs how you would like your assets to be distributed, and who can distribute them after you pass away. Creating your written will with an estate planning attorney is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out the way you would like them to be.
When someone passes away, the court oversees the distribution of their assets and the management of their estate. This process is known as probate. If there is no will in place, the court is left to appoint an administrator to collect your assets, pay any of your outstanding liabilities, and distribute your assets. The probate process can be time-consuming during a stressful period of life. However, an experienced attorney can assist you with the general legal process and completion of multiple forms to ease the burden for your family.