If you're the administrator of an estate, then hopefully you're aware of the different tax obligations you are responsible for addressing before it can be closed. The federal government, for its part, imposes federal estate taxes and in 14 states throughout the country, they impose a death tax as well. Six states also impose a required inheritance tax. Kentucky is one of them.
In a perfect scenario, a will and other estate documents communicate the wishes of the deceased regarding his or her assets. The will lets family and friends know how the person wanted to handle their legacy, including how the assets should be split among heirs.
Let's be honest: It's really not a surprise that the administration of Prince's leviathan estate is getting complicated. The artist had properties, cash reserves and a wealth of creative assets that need management, and with heirs still tied up in probate court, much of that management is coming from the temporary trustee.
Let's be honest: Every situation is different and when it comes to estates, there aren't always one-size-fits-all answers. Applying generalities to your estate planning or administration can cause problems and result in increased stress and financial burden for you or your heirs, which is why it's important to work with a professional estate lawyer to address your individual needs. One thing can be generalized across estate situations, though: If you're going to administer an estate, you need a death certificate.
What you have to do as the executor of an estate is unique to the estate you are dealing with and the laws of your state, but there are at least three things that almost every estate executor is going to have to do. To best understand the requirements of administering an estate in your location, you might want to consider speaking with an estate law professional.
Most Kentucky residents do not know very much about estate planning law or inheritance law -- let alone what it means to be an executor or personal representative. However, being the executor of an estate is a necessary role that many of us must fulfill at some time. The thing is, most people have never done something like this before.
A living will is a written, legal document that provides instructions for how you want to be cared for medically in the event you are unable to make those decisions. For instance, you are seriously injured and in a coma, have dementia and are in the late stages or are terminally ill and near the end of your life. Without a living will, your close relatives will have to make these life decisions for you. They may make them based on their emotions and not on what is best for you. By having a living will, you relieve them of this burden.
What is an attorney-in-fact?
Administration of one's estate is often more complicated than just drawing up a will. Many people think they are aware of how much they have in property and assets, and they can just have a will drawn up designating who they want to have what. While that is the general principal of a will, it is usually not that simple.
Most people who are planning their estates know that a will is the foundational document in the plan. When you create a will, you clarify your wishes regarding the distribution of assets, and an estate planning attorney can help you draft a will with enforceable language that leaves nothing to chance.