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Estate planning can be a complicated process, made more so by the many terms not used in everyday interactions. The following definitions will help you understand legal terms and phrases which are relevant to wills, trusts, probate and the estate planning process.

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The questionnaire collects valuable data such as contact information, financial figures (including retirement accounts, non-retirement assets, insurance, liabilities and annuities) and designation of fiduciaries (including powers of attorney, advance medical directive, personal representatives and trustees).

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Stein Sperling makes an Estate Organizer available to clients so they may maintain a personal planning and financial record organizer. This record will provide vital information in a convenient format that will assist family members, agents, guardians, trustees or personal representatives (executors) in dealing with your affairs in the event of your unavailability, mental incompetence, disability or death. 

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This checklist will help you prepare for our meeting relating to the initiation of the probate process.  Your gathering of this information prior to an appointment is greatly appreciated.  If the information is not available prior to our initial meeting, please provide it as soon as possible thereafter.

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A Personal Representative, or an Executor, of an estate is an individual or institution designated to administer the decedent’s estate.  As a fiduciary, a Personal Representative must settle and distribute the estate of the decedent as efficiently as possible by adhering to the directions outlined in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament and the probate laws of the state where the estate is being administered.

 

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