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Swier Law Firm FAQ

 

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  • What Does Reverse Mortgage Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Reverse Mortgage Mean In Estate Planning?

    A mortgage loan placed on unsecured property.  These are marketed to older individuals as allowing them to get cash for the equity in their home with no monthly mortgage payments.  These are sold to sound wonderful but there are very few circumstances in which I would say this is the right option for a client. Treat carefully here and consult a professional not selling you something (attorney, accountant, financial advisor) prior to entering into one of these.

  • What Does Renunciation Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Renunciation Mean In Estate Planning?

    The formal giving up of a right to serve in a position – personal representative/trustee/executor etc.  This is generally done in writing and filed with the probate office/court or interested parties of a trust.  A renunciation does not generally have the power to name a successor, it is just giving up the right to serve.

  • What Does Real Property Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Real Property Mean In Estate Planning?

    Refers to land and any property that is attached to that land; i.e. buildings, homes, etc.
     

  • What Does Probate Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Probate Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    Assets that will go through probate, either through a will or by state law.  This generally does not include property that was jointly owned, payable on death, life insurance, retirements accounts or other assets with beneficiary designations or otherwise already in trust.

  • What Does Probate and Estate Administration Mean In Estate Planning?

     What Does Probate and Estate Administration Mean In Estate Planning?

    A process involving a court/state oversight through which a decedent’s assets (estate) are distributed to the decedent’s heirs/devisees/issue/descendants.

  • What Is A Personal Representative, Executor or Administrator In Estate Planning?

    What Is A Personal Representative, Executor or Administrator In Estate Planning?

    The person who is in charge of probating a decedent’s estate including finding assets, paying creditors and making distributions.  

    You cannot be forced to serve in this position, even if you were specifically named in the Will.

  • What Is Personal and Tangible Property In Estate Planning?

    What Is Personal and Tangible Property In Estate Planning?

    Generally speaking, things you own that can be touched and/or moved.  These are physical items such as jewelry, furniture, art, cars, clothes, books etc.  This does not include physical things that represent intangible items such as stock certificates, savings bonds etc.

  • What Does Per Stirpes Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Per Stirpes Mean In Estate Planning?

    A way to distribute assets from an estate “by representation” so that the living members of the generation closest to the person who died will receive the distributions. 

    Example: If you have 3 children and 2 grandchildren, your assets would pass equally to your 3 children provided they are all living at your death 1/3 to each and nothing to your grandkids.  If a child, the parent of your 2 grandchildren dies before you, then those 2 grandchildren would share the amount their parent would have received.  Thus, your 2 surviving children would each receive a 1/3 share of your estate and your 2 grandchildren would split the remaining 1/3 of your estate.

  • What Does Per Capita Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Per Capita Mean In Estate Planning?

    A way to distribute assets from an estate “by total headcount” so that all of your descendants/issue will receive distributions regardless of their generation.  

    Example:  If you have 3 children and 2 grandchildren, all of them would share your estate equally and receive 1/5 of your estate at death.

  • What Does Payable On Death Account and Totten Trust Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Payable On Death Account and Totten Trust Mean In Estate Planning?

    A bank account that will automatically transfer to a named beneficiary.  This is often, but not always, designated by a “TOD” (transfer on death), “ITF” (in trust for), “ATF” (as trustee for), or “POD” (payable on death) in the title of the account.  These accounts will pass outside of a will and other estate planning documents.  Beware: If you add someone to an account to help you manage your financial affairs, that account will automatically transfer to them at your death.  This will happen whether you intended it to or not.