What Is Estate Law?
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What Is Estate Law?
Estate law is that body of laws that governs the way a person’s estate is handled, both in their lifetime and also after they become deceased or incapacitated. A person’s estate is the sum total of all their possessions, property, and non-tangible assets. The estate also includes debt and taxes on the property owned.
Estate law thus can involve a wide range of matters including real property and financial aspects. Also, estate planning can have much interaction and overlap with wills and trusts law.
What Does Estate Law Cover?
Estate law is a broad field of law that covers matters such as:
- Estate Planning: making provisions for the estate in the event that the person passes away or becomes incapacitated
- Estate Administration: the actual handling and processing of a person’s estate after they have become deceased; this is usually overseen by an estate administrator appointed by the estate holder
- Duties of the Executor: the administrator or executor has certain duties that need to be fulfilled and obeyed
- Distribution of Property: the passing of property to the rightful beneficiaries is a main topic of estate planning
- Debt: the person’s debt still needs to be addressed even after their death or incapacitation
Lastly, estate laws can be different from state to state. These differences in law can come into play any time the person moves to a different area. In particular, state laws can be very different when it comes to the distribution of property to spouses, children, and other persons.
What If Estate Laws Are Violated?
Estate law violations can involve many issues like property disputes, challenges to the beneficiary or to the executor’s actions, or issues with the estate documents themselves. Remedies for estate law violations can often involve a re-working of the way that the property has been distributed amongst beneficiaries.
If there is an issue with an estate document, the court may sometimes allow the document to be re-written, with the consent of the estate holder or the administrator.
Do I Need an Estate Lawyer?
Estate laws are major field of law that can have direct effects on a person’s property and possessions. If you have any inquiries, issues, or disputes involving estate laws, you may need to hire a qualified estates lawyer in your area. Your attorney can assist you with tasks like drafting, reviewing, and editing estate planning documents. Also, your lawyer can represent you in court if you or your loved ones become involved in an estate dispute.
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Last Modified: 06-04-2014 12:16 PM PDT
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