Estate Plans & Wills

ESTATE PLANNING GLOSSARY

Administrator, Administratrix (also known as Personal Representative) – Person or institution appointed by the court to manage and distribute the estate of a person who dies without a will. Beneficiary — Person named to receive property or benefits. Codicil — An addition or supplement made to change or add provisions to a will. Contingent beneficiary [...]

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VETERANS’ BENEFITS FOR DEPENDENTS

Write or visit your nearest Veteran’s Administration Office if the deceased, man or woman, was a veteran of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War, for information regarding benefits paid to a widow or children.

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SOCIAL SECURITY

The Social Security Act provides for survivor’s benefits to the family and other dependents of covered persons. Benefits may include monthly payments and a lump-sum death payment. Benefits are not paid automatically. Upon the death of a person who has worked under social security, a member of the family must file application for benefits with [...]

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LIFE INSURANCE

A life insurance policy is a contract between the policyholder and the company. The proceeds are paid according to the terms of each contract. Life insurance should be payable specifically to a designated beneficiary. A contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries as well as a primary beneficiary should be named in each policy. A contingent beneficiary is [...]

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JOINT OWNERSHIP

Another way to transfer property is through joint ownership. Real estate owned by both husband and wife automatically becomes the sole property of the survivor. If two or more persons other than husband and wife own real estate together, each owns an undivided share as tenant in common, unless the deed states they are to [...]

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A TRUST

If there is a question of the ability of your beneficiaries to manage money or if you are in a high tax bracket, ask your lawyer about setting up a trust. A trust may be created by an agreement or by your will giving property to a third person – trustee – to hold and [...]

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NOTICE TO CREDITORS TO PRESENT CLAIMS

When a NOTICE TO CREDITORS is published, the executor/trix, administrator/trix shall mail a copy of the NOTICE TO CREDITORS to each creditor of the estate of which the personal representative knows or which can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry, by ordinary mail to the creditor’s last known address.

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EXECUTOR/EXECUTRIX

Within 60 days after the date of the probate of the will, the executor/trix must mail to all beneficiaries under the will; the spouse, heirs, and next of kin to the deceased, a notice in writing that the will has been probated, the place and date of probate, the name and address of the executor/trix, [...]

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HOW A WILL IS PROBATED

Upon the death of the testator or testatrix, the will is probated. This is the legal process which establishes the genuineness of the will. It is done by the surrogate in the county where the testator or testatrix resides at the time of death. The executor, executrix or personal representative is appointed by going to [...]

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APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN

A guardian may be appointed by the court for minor children. In order to sell or dispose of minors’ interest in a parent’s land, a guardian must be appointed by the Probate Court to sign the deed for them. The expense of having the guardian appointed, bond for the guardian, appraisals, court costs and attorney’s [...]

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