Daya Masada Wright Prepares the Four Essential Estate Planning Documents

Last Will & Testament

Your Last Will and Testament is the document that allows you to communicate your wishes regarding the distribution of your property following your death. You will select an executor, the person responsible for administering your Estate and ensuring that your directives are strictly followed. If you have minor children, you will nominate a guardian to raise them and a trustee to manage their inheritance. This individual may be one and the same. If you pass away without a Last Will and Testament, the laws of intestacy will apply, and the State of West Virginia will determine how your Estate is shared among your heirs. Your heirs may be required to agree on an administrator for your Estate. If they cannot do so, a creditor or the county sheriff may be appointed as administrator.

Living Will

Your Living Will is the document that allows you to communicate your “end of life” wishes regarding life prolonging medical care. It is also known as an Advanced Healthcare Directive. You will indicate the treatments that you do or do not want to receive in the event that you are in a permanent vegetative state. Examples of care are hydration, feeding tubes, and ventilators. This document does not become effective unless you are incapacitated and unable to communicate your choices. This document is not the equivalent of a Do Not Resuscitate order by a physician.

Medical Power of Attorney

Your Medical Power of Attorney is the document that allows you to appoint the person you trust to make medical decisions when you are unable to do so yourself. This person will also have access to all of your medical records and care providers.

Durable Power of Attorney

Your Durable Power of Attorney is the document that allows you to appoint an agent, the person you trust to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. This document carefully lists all actions that your agent is authorized to perform, such as banking transactions, real estate sales, applying for government benefits, preparing income tax filings, making contracts, giving gifts, and managing personal property. It becomes effective immediately and continues until your death, the agent’s written resignation, or your written revocation of the Durable Power of Attorney.

Daya Masada Wright Has Extensive Estate Administration Experience

Daya Masada Wright has served as a Fiduciary Commissioner for Upshur County, West Virginia since 2006. Overseeing Estate administration on behalf of the Upshur County Commission includes reviewing Estate documentation, settling disputes regarding claims filed against Estates, making recommendations to the Commission, and guiding executors and administrators through the process including, but not limited, to deadline compliance.

Estate Administration is the Process of Managing the Estate

When a loved one dies, all of their possessions including money, real estate, personal belongings, stocks and more become a part of his or her Estate. Estate administration is the process of collecting and managing the Estate, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs or devisees of the Estate pursuant to the Last Will and Testament or the intestacy laws if there is no valid Will.

What You Need to Know About Probate Assets

• Probate assets must be listed on the Appraisement of the Estate Form ET 6.01
• Probate assets are not jointly titled
• Probate assets do not have listed beneficiaries
• All probate assets are subject to creditors and Estate recovery efforts
•If any probate assets remain after satisfying creditors and Estate recovery efforts, those probate assets then transfer to the decedent’s person of choice through the Last Will and Testament or to the decedent’s heirs through the laws of intestacy if the decedent died without a Last Will and Testament.

What You Need to Know About Non-Probate Assets

• Non-probate assets must be listed on the non-probate inventory of the Estate Form ET 6.02
• Non-probate assets are assets that belonged to the decedent until the moment of his or her death.
• Non-probate assets transfer directly to another specified individual immediately upon the death of the decedent.
• Non-probate assets are not subject to creditors or Estate recovery efforts.

Examples of Probate Assets Are:

• Vehicles titled solely in the decedent’s name

• Financial accounts titled solely in the decedent’s name

• Life insurance policies where the Estate is the beneficiary

• Real Estate titled solely in the decedent’s name

• Personal possessions such as guns, jewelry, cash, home furnishings, and clothing

Examples of Non-Probate Assets Are:

• Jointly Titled Vehicles

• Jointly Titled Financial Accounts

• Payable on Death Financial Accounts

• Life Insurance Policies with Beneficiaries

• Retirement Accounts with Beneficiaries

• Real Estate Jointly Held with Right of Survivorship

• Real Estate Held by a Life Estate

• Real Estate Held by a Transfer on Death Deed