Are your assets tied up in complicated financial instruments?
Wondering whether you should draft a will or a trust?
Are you a beneficiary and feel like you’re being cheated?
Reach out to the wills and estates lawyers in our Burg Simpson Wyoming at 307-527-7891 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form so we can represent you when drafting your will or addressing an estate dispute.
Our Probate, Trust, and Estate Planning Lawyers Can Handle Legal Issues such as:
- Will and trust validity
- Will and trust contests
- Beneficiary disputes
- Contested heirship
- Mental capacity and undue influence
- Guardianship disputes
- Contested powers of attorney
- Creditor claims
- Breach of fiduciary duty and investment claims
Basics of Estate Planning and Probate
Legally speaking, probate is nothing more than the act or process of proving a will. Of course, the reality is more complicated than that and involves a court, a judge, and lawyers. There are three different types of probate in Wyoming, including:
- Informal Probate: Most of the state’s probate proceedings fall into this category. Estates that don’t have any disputes among heirs or creditors can typically be resolved this way.
- Unsupervised Formal Probate: This court proceeding requires a judge to approve some of the executor’s actions, such as sale of real property, asset distribution or settling attorney’s fees. This process is needed when there are disagreements among relevant parties.
- Supervised Formal Probate: In more complicated – or hotly contested – estates, supervised formal probate is required. This simply means that the court must oversee and authorize every step of the probate process.
Estate planning, on the other hand, is the process of planning for and organizing the distribution of one’s assets upon death or permanent incapacitation. Additionally, such planning often takes place with an eye toward minimizing any tax implications and, if possible, avoiding probate altogether.
The most common financial instruments used in estate planning are:
- Wills: This is the estate tool everyone’s heard of, and the easiest for directing the distribution of an estate. It takes effect upon the testator’s death and must go through probate.
- Trusts: Trusts are a lot like wills, but take effect as soon as it’s signed and allow the estate to avoid probate, which is public and often costly.
- Advance directives: These are additional documents used to communicate the wishes of the testator in the event of their incapacitation. These can include a healthcare proxy, durable power of attorney, and a living will.
The team in our Burg Simpson Wyoming office is recognized by US News and World Report as among the best law firms in America for this type of work with an excellent reputation when it comes to fighting for our clients’ best interests. Managing conflict in estate and probate disputes is what we do best, including those between family members and involving third parties, such as banks and other corporations. We represent clients in trust and estate litigation matters in and out of the courtroom including civil and appeals courts.
Burg Simpson Wyoming’s living trust lawyers represent beneficiaries and fiduciaries involved in the administration of a trust or the probate of an estate, especially those that are disputed or involving substantial amounts of money. Contact us today by calling 307-527-7891 or by filling out a Free Case Evaluation Form right now.
How Does Wyoming Handle Your Estate?
In Wyoming, not every estate has to go through probate. Generally speaking, if an estate’s value is less than $200,000, it is classified as a “small estate”, and can avoid probate altogether.
Among larger estates, there are certain types of assets that are exempt from probate, as well. Instead, these assets transfer upon the owner’s death automatically. These can include:
- Joint tenancy assets: These are assets tied to two parties, so that when one joint tenant dies, the survivor immediately assumes ownership. This is referred to as the “right of survivorship”.
- Beneficiary designations: Retirement accounts and life insurance policies include provisions for named beneficiaries. Upon the policy owner’s death, these beneficiaries are entitled to the account’s assets or policy proceeds.
- Payable on death accounts: Bank accounts provide for designated beneficiaries, too, which allows the transfer of assets upon the account holder’s death.
There’s so much more to planning for your loved ones than buying a life insurance policy. Don’t put your family’s financial security at risk. Speak with a Burg Simpson Wyoming trust and estate attorney by calling 307-527-7891 today.
Burg Simpson Wyoming Can Help Secure Your Future
If you’re struggling to get your estate plan organized or if you’re caught up in a dispute involving a loved one’s estate and you believe your rights have been violated, a Burg Simpson estate attorney can help. Get in touch with our Wyoming attorneys as soon as possible at 307-527-7891 today or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form HERE.