Common Questions Our attorneys will do everything we can to help you today so that you can protect your legacy tomorrow.

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Below we’ve collected some of the common questions we receive. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Just give us a call and talk to an attorney about your situation.

How often should I update my will?

If you experience a major life event, such as a marriage or the birth of a child, it may be time to update your plan. Estate planning is an ongoing process; the best plans are constantly evolving. By maintaining an up to date plan, you can help ensure your wishes are carried out as you intend.

Is there more to an estate plan than a will?

It is true that a will can dictate what happens to property, name an executor, and name guardians for children; however, there is much a will cannot do. It cannot leave burial instructions, avoid probate, set certain conditions on asset transfers, or reduce certain taxes. To learn how to best plan for your situation, give us a call.

What’s in my estate?

The idea of an “estate” can call to mind extravagant mansions, luxury vehicles, and expensive antiques. However, the truth is that everyone has an estate made up of their assets, legal rights, and entitlements. Decisions regarding who cares for your children, who makes choices for you should you become incapacitated, and how your belongings are distributed can also be included in your estate plan.

How can I update my will?

There are two main paths to updating your will. You can write a codicil, a document which acts to amend, add, or remove one or more provisions in your will. In many ways, writing a codicil is similar to creating the will itself. The other option is to replace your will in its entirety with a new document.

Can I exclude relatives from my will?

Yes. Your will acts as your voice after you’re gone. It should dictate how you wish your estate to be handled, within the bounds of the law. You can exclude relatives from your inheritance, you can create conditional clauses, and in some cases, you may even elect to disinherit a child.

What tax concerns should I be aware of?

Creating a will can be complex, and if you’re not careful, your assets may be taxed more than you’d like. Our firm is highly knowledgeable of the law and can help you understand and tax avoidance options such as the Generation Skipping Transfer Tax (GSTT) and explore options such as the Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT)

What are common reasons for an estate dispute?

Disputes can occur for any number of reasons. An ambiguity can lead to a conflict between two inheritors over who gets what. There may be a disagreement over whether a will is valid. If you think a mistake has occurred, or someone has acted unlawfully, call Finley Williams Law, PA immediately.

Can I appeal the court’s decision?

Depending on your situation, yes. For example, if you believe the court made an error or made a decision without all of the information, an appeal might find success. Of course every case is different and only an attorney, like those from our firm, can help you to understand your options.

What is probate?

Probate refers to the process of inventorying, appraising, and distributing a person’s estate after their passing. If a person has a will, the items contained within it will almost certainly go through some form of probate. Our firm can help you understand your options during this difficult time.

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