Hannah and Jared’s Story
Hannah and Jared were happily married for years and Hannah had become a part of Jared’s family; so much so that Jared’s parents, Rose and Lionel, had named Hannah as the Executor of both of their wills. They had no other estate planning documents in place other than their Last Will and Testament.
Jared’s father passed away back in 2010, but Jared’s mother, Rose, seemed to be in perfect health considering her age and her high-paced lifestyle as a business owner. However, in 2021, Rose was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and died just a few months after her diagnosis.
Jared, stricken with grief from his mother’s passing, was in no place to handle administration of his parents’ estate. Fortunately, Hannah was named executor in Rose’s Last Will and Testament and thus, was the person who was to handle administration of his parents’ estates.
What Hannah did not realize at the time was the size of Jared’s parents’ estates, as they were extremely successful business owners with millions of dollars in assets. One of their biggest assets was their house they had purchased just a few years prior to Rose’s death–a custom-built, 4,000 sq. ft. mansion situated on Lake Travis in Austin, TX–which of course came with a rather large monthly mortgage payment.
Unfortunately for Hannah and Jared, his parents’ assets would be frozen until Rose’s Will was probated. This meant that while Hannah was going through the proceedings to probate Rose’s will–a process that would end up taking just over 23 months–that her and Jared would be responsible for his parents’ mortgage payments until they could access his parents’ bank accounts.
Hannah and Jared were by no means struggling financially, as she had a full-time job as a school teacher and Jared was a successful real estate agent; however, they had just purchased a house of their own and had to pay their own mortgage, and they simply did not enough extra money to be able to cover his parents’ mortgage payments at the same time. They were able to make ends meet for a while as Rose’s Will was going through probate, but eventually they could no longer afford to make his parents’ mortgage payments. Just like that, Jared’s parents’ house that they had worked their whole life to be able to afford to build was lost to foreclosure.
How Can I Avoid The Loss Of My Assets Upon My Death?
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid such asset loss through effective estate planning with tools such as a living trust with protective language. By setting up a living trust and placing all of your assets into the trust, you can avoid the probate process altogether. Probating a Will can be extremely stressful for your family members, as it is a timely and expensive process that involves numerous trips to the probate court, court fees, and various other costs associated with administration of the estate.
However, administering a decedent’s assets through a funded trust would eliminate the need for a probate inventory, accountings, court-appointed appraisals, and numerous other
documents and processes needed to probate a Will. Furthermore, your named beneficiaries would not have to wait until probate of your Will was complete in order to access your funds. Upon your death, those trust assets would be immediately transferrable to your named beneficiaries–meaning that your beneficiaries can access your bank accounts and other assets in order to use those funds towards your estate’s debts and obligations.
Invitation from Springdale Law Group
Effective estate planning is crucial in ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass and do not have to deal with substantial financial burdens when dealing with administration, management, and distribution of your assets.
Springdale Law Group is one of a few law firms that ensure the well-being and financial future of yourself and your family by assisting in drafting, reviewing, and finalizing your estate plan. As a comprehensive estate planning firm, we are proud to provide this essential service to individuals. Our team is fluent in English, Chinese, and Spanish and can assist with wealth management and estate planning in all 50 states. Don’t leave your own future to chance. Let us help you make a plan that provides you with peace of mind before it’s too late.