Instead of fighting with siblings over an estate matter, many baby boomers are now facing a totally different estate administration conundrum — sorting out the mess when their parents died outright broke or heavily indebted. This scenario plays out far more often than one would suspect. In fact, in 2012, the National Bureau of Economic Research conducted a study that determined almost 50% of senior citizens pass away with less than $10,000 in assets.
Testators often draft wills with the expectation that their final wishes will be carried out as per their instructions when they die. Things don't always go according to plans, though. Wills can be challenged or invalidated based on their contents and the laws in the jurisdiction where the testator last resided.
When you're in charge of handling someone else's estate, the list of tasks you have to manage can seem endless. One of those tasks involves canceling the deceased's credit cards, automatic payments, subscriptions and other reoccuring charges.
What's considered proper etiquette when it comes to discussing death and inheritance?
One of the hardest things about drafting an estate plan isn't facing your own mortality -- it's picking the executor.
Knowing how to talk to your children about their inheritance is tough -- you want to address the issues you see ahead but you also don't want to create unnecessary drama.
Do you feel pretty comfortable with your end-of-life documents and plans?
Creating an estate plan brings peace of mind as well as a sense of accomplishment. While there are many tasks involved in estate planning, one of the most important is selecting the right estate executor. This process calls for careful consideration and an attorney with experience in estate administration can provide guidance on your choice of executor.
Many North Carolina residents assume that estate administration is automatic following their death, but we want to advise our readers that estate planning comes first. In other words, you must have certain documentation in place before your estate administration can proceed as you wish it to.
Do you think high-value items are most likely to cause conflict between heirs? Maybe you assume people would fight over the family fortune, especially if life-changing money and assets are involved.