ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE
According to recent estimates, over 50% of all persons who have died in the past 10 years have died without any form of estate planning. Estate planning is a way for you to set out the manner in which you want your property to be distributed after your death. There are several different ways that this can be achieved and the Law Firm of Jared N. Lyles, P.C. will be more than happy to discuss with you which of the following services that we provide would best suit your situation:
- Simple Wills
- Complex Wills
- Living Wills
- Medical Powers of Attorney
- General Durable Power of Attorney
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Living Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts
- Joint Ownership / Rights of Survivorship
In the State of Alabama, dying without some sort of Estate Planning device leaves the decision on how your assets are divided up to the State and Laws of Alabama. Often times this results in not only unfair, but also unwanted results. The easiest way to have control over what happens to your property after your pass away is to have a Last Will and Testament. A Will is very easy and inexpensive for a person to get, yet most people ignore the importance of this document.
Another group of documents that can guarantee that your desires for the distribution of your property upon your death will be carried out are Trusts. While Trusts are a little more expensive, if they are done properly it allows your heirs to bypass the process of probating a will and in some instances will save them substantial amounts of money in estate taxes. If you want to reap the benefits of the Trust, you will have to transfer the majority of your possessions out of your name and put them in the name of the Trust. This is what allows your heirs to bypass Probate Court and some estate taxes. The process is more involved, but in some situations, the benefits are clearly worth the effort.
Another important group of instruments that is vital to effective estate planning is a Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney. These devices have recently gained national attention as a result of unfortunate cases such as Terry Schaivo. They allow you to make your intentions known should you enter a vegetative or comatose state, or if you lose your mental ability to make medical decisions. Not only does a Living Will protect your desires in these situations, but they also protect you family members from being forced to make difficult decisions on your behalf. In recent years, these documents have become much