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Estate Planning & Probate

lawyer and his client discussing

What is an estate? This legal term refers to the various assets that you own. Pretty much everybody has an estate, and it consists of their property, any vehicles they own, other real estate properties, checking and saving accounts, stocks and investments, life insurance, personal possessions, and anything else that you can think of. For some people, these estates will be substantial, and could be to the tune of millions of dollars, for others, the estates will be far more modest. Naturally, when you die, the estate will then be passed on to somebody, usually a group of relatives or friends. As you can surely imagine, this is exactly the kind of situation that can cause painful disputes between loved ones, and this is just one of the reasons that it’s a good idea to carry out extensive estate planning. At Steltzner Law Firm, we’re ready to offer our expertise to get the job completed for you.


What is Estate Planning?

You now know what an estate is, but what is estate planning, and how does it work? An estate planning service is where you make a plan, in advance, that states the people or organizations that you want to receive your possessions once you pass away. It involves giving detailed instructions regarding who you want to receive each item, and even when they’re allowed to receive it (some items can be held until a specific age, in a trust, for example). It’s important to take on these processes in advance of any decline in mental or physical health, as it’ll eliminate complications later on.


Complex Situations

One of the reasons that you might want to employ an estate planning lawyer is so that you can navigate difficult and complex family situations. For people who have been married more than once, for those with multiple children (and from different marriages), and for those who have a number of substantial assets, it’s worth looking at the assistance of a specialist estate planning service like ours. Of course, there is a wide array of complicated situations to consider, and we’re more than happy to assist you with any of them.


Preparedness Pays Off

A lot of people (foolishly) put off estate planning for as long as possible. They do this because they don’t believe they have enough assets for it to be worthwhile, because they think it’ll be expensive, or because the process sounds confusing and exhausting. We understand, it’s not exactly a good time! But putting off the process can be disastrous, especially if you pass away unexpectedly. In those cases, the family then has to scramble and pick up the pieces – which is far from ideal.


Probate Services

Probate is the process where property and possessions are given to the right people after a person dies – minus any taxes or debts that are still owed. Probate is necessary in all cases, whether there’s a clear will or not – though it’s much more straightforward if there is a will already. We can assist with probate situations just as well as with estate planning.

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