Frequently Asked Questions
As each estate is unique, it requires a unique estate plan to best manage and accomplish particular goals. Please call in order to discuss what ways to best accomplish your estate plan and how Nowroozzadeh, P.C., can offer guidance during such emotional times. A few important questions are answered below.
What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is a written expression of how you want your assets to be owned, managed and preserved during your lifetime and how you want them to be disposed of upon your death. It may include numerous documents for different purposes. The pivotal document in most plans is a will, or alternatively, a living trust. However, our customized legal strategies can employ trusts and other asset management entities to best protect and preserve what is cherished.
What happens if you die without a will?
If you die without a will, laws developed by the state will determine the descent and distribution of your property. These laws vary from state to state, but typically the distribution would be to your spouse and children, or if none, to other family members. The difficulty of intestacy, dying without a will, lies in dividing
up and sharing the estate assets often in ways that upset family members or make asset maintenance burdensome.
What is a trust?
Trusts are legal arrangements that can provide incredible flexibility for the ownership of certain assets, thereby enabling you and your heirs to achieve a number of significant personal goals that cannot be achieved otherwise. The term “trust” describes the holding of property by a “trustee,” which may be one
or more persons or a corporate trust company or bank, in accordance with the provisions of a contract,
the written trust instrument, for the benefit of one or more persons called “beneficiaries.” The trustee is
the legal owner of the trust property, and the beneficiaries are the equitable owners of the trust property.
A person may be both a trustee and a beneficiary of the same trust.
What is “Probate?”
The term “probate” refers to a court-supervised proceeding that is involved when an individual passes
away and handles the transition of their assets that the decedent owned and payment of any debts
and taxes. Probate also refers to the court-supervised process where an individual needs to have
court-supervision over the affairs of a minor or an incapacitated individual through a guardianship
or conservatorship proceeding. The death of an individual is an overbearingly emotional time for the
entire family, thus it is best to bring in an attorney to help deal with the legal formalities and allow the
family to focus on healing.