Planning an estate is one of the most crucial aspects of preparing for your family’s future. Within estate planning, there are many important actions and things to consider. For example, two of the most crucial aspects include establishing the value of key assets and determining exactly who owns them. Correctly valuing property can be difficult without legal representation and agreeing on who owns something often becomes a contentious process.
Thankfully, a knowledgeable and experienced trusts and estates attorney could explain the nuances of assets and ownership in Rosemead, to help your family prepare for what is to come.
Establishing the Value of Assets
Before an asset or property can be passed to a beneficiary, a family needs to determine the financial value of the item. This can be done in a couple different ways. If an asset passes through a living trust and a family agrees on the asset’s worth, a formal appraisal might not be necessary. The property could pass along to the designated beneficiary without much issue. However, sometimes a formal appraisal is required. For instance, assets examined during probate often get appraised by a referee. Appraising is usually done by looking at items with similar value around the area and, potentially, determining the market price on the day that a decedent passes away.
Correctly valuing assets is crucial to estate planning because it helps a family conclude the exact value of their possessions and property. Having clear picture of this worth then helps a family recognize whether they qualify for a tax exemption or need to pay estate fees. A seasoned attorney in Rosemead could work to make sure that precious assets are categorized, appraised, and valued correctly, to help simplify the estate planning process.
Determining Who Owns an Asset or Property
Figuring out who owns a property or valuable asset comes hand in hand with concluding how much something is worth. Determining ownership is a necessary part of estate planning because it helps a family decide who should keep an item in the future. There are many different ways that items can be owned, which can result in confusion for beneficiaries and family members.
The simplest form of ownership is known ‘sole’ possession; it refers to when an individual owns something by themselves. This kind of ownership makes estate planning more straightforward because only this one person needs to decide the future of their assets and property. Other communal forms of ownership get more complicated.
Forms of Joint Ownership
One of the most common examples of joint ownership includes a husband and wife sharing assets equally. These items become labeled community property. For instance, a couple might share ownership of a house or other real estate under a “joint tenancy.”
Meanwhile, joint tenancy with “right of survivorship” is another common form of community ownership. This classification often relates to a connection between a parent and child or a pair of siblings. When family members establish joint ownership with right of survivorship, they agree that, in the future, the person who passes away first will pass full ownership of an asset along to the surviving individual. For example, upon their death, a parent might gift house or bank account to their surviving child.
Other less common forms of ownership can affect the estate planning and asset redistribution process. Fortunately, a diligent lawyer in Rosemead could help a family determine who has a right to own which assets, to keep probate and any other required processes as smooth as possible.
Contact a Rosemead Attorney About Assets and Ownership
Effectively accounting for all aspects of an estate can be a complicated, contentious, and time-consuming process. At the very least, transparently determining the value of an asset and who owns it could help simplify the process. There are multiple ways to figure out how much a property is worth and there are many different kinds of ownership.
If you serve as a personal representative to an estate and have any further questions about assets and ownership in Rosemead, a dedicated lawyer could help. A skilled attorney could assess your family’s circumstances, explain your options, and keep negotiations civil. Reach out to our firm today to schedule an initial appointment.