Westport Estate Planning Lawyer

Do You Need to Handle an Estate?

It is important to create and execute an effective estate plan or things may not work out the way you would like. For instance, if you do not implement an effective plan (e.g. draft and fund a revocable living trust and write a pour-over will), the state, not you, will decide how your assets are divided up. Likewise, creditors, predators, taxes, and the costs of long term care may gobble up the bulk of your estate before it reaches your family.

You can face many similar issues when handling another’s estate as an executor, administrator, heir, trustee or beneficiary. Fortunately, all of these concerns can be effectively addressed in estate planning. If you need help with your estate planning or representation in another's estate matters, you are encouraged to contact a Westport estate planning attorney today.

Why Choose Massih Law?

At Massih Law, LLC, I help clients in the Westport, Connecticut area plan their estates. With experience including work with fortune 500 companies and public finance, I bring valuable insight to even the most complex situations. View my firm’s attorney profiles to learn more about our talented legal team, or call us today to start an informed approach to your case with an initial case evaluation.

Our Areas of Practice

The legal needs associated with estate planning vary from case to case, depending on the types of assets involved, the satisfaction of beneficiaries, and numerous additional factors. As a result, it is important that whether you are handling your own estate or another’s, you have the insight needed to take appropriate legal action. As a will lawyer, I can help you look ahead to potential risks and opportunities associated with your estate.

Come to Massih Law, LLC for advice concerning:

If you need advice regarding Asset Protection, and/or other critical matters involving your various assets, I am ready to come to your aid. As many of my clients need help with seeking out options for High Net Worth Tax Shelters, I am prepared to provide assistance with such matters. Additionally, Charitable Giving & Philanthropic Planning can be arranged for those who wish to pass on some of their estate to the charity that they support.

For premier counsel concerning any estate, call my firm at (203) 651-5521 and request a consultation with a will attorney in Westport!

The Value of an Effective Will

With careful planning, a will can play a vital role in determining the future of your estate. When the time comes to distribute your assets among beneficiaries, this document will provide a clear framework for managing your estate and, should tragedy arise, offer directives concerning the well-being of your underage children. Drafting your last will and testament under the guidance of an experienced Westford will lawyer can ensure that this document maintains legal authority for years to come.

With a well-crafted will, you can:

  • Choose your heirs and method of distribution
  • Minimize estate taxes
  • Simplify or avoid the probate process
  • Choose guardians for your underage children
  • Make charitable donations
  • Plan for business succession

Understanding Probate

After a person dies, their assets are divided up amongst recipients and heirs. This legal process is called "probate," and is designed to make sure that deceased's estate is divided fairly. The deceased, also referred to as "the decedent," may have named specific recipients of gifts and other assets in a will; if not, the probate court will divide up his/her property according to state law. In certain situations, the decedent's wishes may be overridden by state law. For instance, the decedent's spouse is entitled to a portion of their property in many states.

Probate may include a variety of legal procedures. For instance, the probate court may collect all of the decedent's property to assess it. Before the gifts and other assets can be divided between recipients and heirs, all of the decedent's outstanding bills and debts must be paid. The probate court will collect all dividends and rights to income, settle any disputes, and distribute the remaining property as directed by the state law or decedent's will.

Probate Litigation and Other Concerns

Most of the time, heirs and recipients of gifts do not contest probate; however, if members of the decedent's family have reason to believe that they were unfairly influenced when writing their will, the probate may be contested in probate litigation. Similarly, if heirs believe that the decedent was not mentally qualified to make decisions regarding the division of the estate, the probate process may be contested.

Probate litigation often occurs when an heir thinks that he/she received less of decedent's estate than they deserved. Typically, the probate process is managed by an executor of the estate. The decedent may name an executor in their will or the state may assign one. In some cases, probate can be avoided through joint ownership with the right of survivorship, gifts, and revocable trusts.

Contact Westport Estate Planning Lawyer at the firm for help with your estate matters.

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