WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATES
Autonomous Distribution & Representation
We live in the world of autonomous cars appearing in the imminent future. Everyone is on the edge of their seat, anticipating the release of cars that will drive themselves. Ironically, there is already an auto-pilot selection available to everyone right now, somewhat less exciting, but yet available -- your Will. Yes, in today’s world, you can pre-program where your assets will go. It is your choice, if you take the time to form a Will. Now, granted, you will not be able to see the distribution of your assets, but you will be able to control the movement of those assets without having to touch the controls during the process. So, in effect, the movement of your assets after death, with a Will or Estate, can be described as “autonomous distribution.”
An Estate, however, is a legal entity formed after you die, which is primarily controlled by someone you appoint (via your Will) or appointed by the Probate Court. In that way, you have a representative, after death, that will work to collect and distribute Estate assets for the benefit of the Estate and your heirs.
Will I or will I not get a Will. No, not Shakespeare, but probably what was written on the wall of his local barrister’s office. You probably have thought to yourself to get a Will, but there, invariably, has been a reason not to get a Will for yourself or for your spouse. Well, now may be the time. What’s stopping you? We offer a free consultation. Just text, call or email us and we can set up a time to discuss with you your options, for free. You may call us at (205) 443-7264, send us a text at (205) 563-3525 or contact us via our webform here.
You need a Will, if:
- You have children under the age of 19 and you want to decide who their guardian will be;
- You have any personal property (art, rings, antique car, motorcycle, rare books, music collection, autographs, baseball cards, etc.), and you want to decide who will become the owners of these things after you pass away;
- You have any land, homes or buildings or other real property in your name and you want to decide who receives the ownership of the property;
- You have cash, stocks or bonds, and you want to decide who receives the ownership of these financial assets; and
- You want all or part of your assets to go to one person, but if they predecease you, then who should it go to? If you want to make that determination for a Plan “B,” then you need a Will.
Keep in mind, if you do not make a Will, your assets will be distributed pursuant to State law to your heirs. Without a Will, you lose control.
In the 1980’s there was a gentleman, named Robin Leach, who was the host of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. He coined the phrase “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” to characterize the rich and famous. Mr. Leach toured properties and other possessions of the rich and famous across the world galore, but he never produced or hosted a show on “TRUSTS.” Probably, that segment never came to fruition, because TRUSTS are not exclusive to the rich and famous. Anybody, at any income level, may have a trust, and whether or not you need one will depend on your personal situation. Certainly, there are many individuals who receive social security income (“SSI”) who may benefit from a trust to protect their income should they receive compensation from a lawsuit. We are happy to discuss with you whether a trust may be a good idea for your current plans. We offer a free consultation. Just text, call or email us and we can set up a time to discuss with you your options, for free. You may call us at (205) 443-7264, send us a text at (205) 563-3525 or contact us via our webform here.
Although Estate, in the old English, parlance may have referenced a large swath of property with a large home, in today’s vernacular, it is, generally, just a term to describe the basket of assets of the decedent (the person who has passed away), and includes the naming of an Administrator of the Estate (who can be named in your Will by you before you pass away or otherwise will be approved by the Court by Petition).
Estates create an entity with a trustee (the Administrator) that can do basically all things necessary to act in the benefit of the Estate and the disposition or collection of assets on behalf of the Estate and its heirs. For example, in Alabama, Estates are generally necessary to request medical records or otherwise pursue a wrongful death civil action for the benefit of the heirs of the decedent. If a loved one has died, and you think their death may be due to negligence of a person, entity, or product, just text, call or email us, and we can set up a time to discuss with you your options. We offer a free consultation. You may call us at (205) 443-7264, send us a text at (205) 563-3525 or contact us via our webform here. Their death could be due to a car accident, improper medication, or other injury that led to death. If so, a person, entity or product may be responsible for their death.
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