Estate planning is known as the procedure of arranging and or anticipating for the disposal of one's estate during an individual's life. Estate planning in general attempts to remove uncertainties over the management of a probate and capitalize on the value of an estate by reducing taxes or any other expenses. Though the ultimate purpose of estate planning is determined by the client's specific goals and may be as complex or as simple as the client's requirements dictate. Guardians are typically designated for children who are still minors and beneficiaries for those of incapacity.
Legal systems that evolved from British common law systems, like that of the United States, generally use the probate system as a way of distributing property at death. Probate is a method where: (1) The purported will of the descendent, if any, is first entered into the courts. (2) After evidence is heard by the estate representatives, the court then makes a decision if the will is valid. (3) The court then appoints a personal representative as a fiduciary to handle closing out the estate. (4) Unknown and Known creditors are then notified (either by direct notification or by media publication) to file any outstanding claims against the estate. (5) Claims are then paid out (if enough funds remain) in the priority or order governed by the state statute. (6) The remaining funds are then distributed to all beneficiaries that are named in the will, or to heirs if a will was never made. (7) Lastly the estate is closed out by the probate judge.
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