A beneficiary should ask himself whether he wants to (or can) tend to the estate himself or whether he would rather delegate the responsibility to someone else. The larger the inheritance, the more likely a beneficiary will need professional advice. A six-figure inheritance or greater will probably change many things in a beneficiary’s life and he will need good advice for these changes.
As executor, your first step in settling the decedent’s estate is to find all of the decedent’s assets. You must then figure out which assets belonged solely to the decedent so that you can protect them until they can be distributed either according to the decedent’s will or state intestacy laws. Finding such assets can be a challenge.
An intentional transfer of property made from the generosity of the transferor is known as a gift. The person who makes a gift is known as the donor. The person who receives a gift is known as the donee.
There are two kinds of durable powers of attorney for finances: those that take effect immediately and those that take effect only upon your incapacitation where one or two doctors declare that you can no longer manage your financial affairs.
A simple definition of a will can be found in a paralegal textbook, Edward A. Nolfi’s Basic Wills, Trusts, and Estates (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill 1995). Mr. Nolfi writes that: “A will is a formal letter to the probate court judge declaring what the maker wants after death.” Let’s look at each part of this intriguing definition.