Estate planning is important so that you have control over how your assets get passed down. It will help to protect you and your property. Situations you want to avoid when estate planning are disputes between heirs, probate, and not updating plans.
Disputes Between Heirs
Disputes between heirs are becoming more common. You should take steps to avoid this to ensure peace and rid you or your beneficiaries of any future headache. This should start with communication. You need to communicate with your beneficiaries what to expect from your estate. Setting out specifics of who gets what can help so there is no question. Avoid naming one of your beneficiaries as your executor if you suspect future disputes. Naming a neutral beneficiary can prevent arguments from happening. You may also want to think of how to distribute fairly, rather than just splitting equally if a beneficiary has done more.
Probate can take time and money to complete. The proceedings of a probate court can last for years. This is an important thing to avoid because it means that your heirs will not receive anything until the probate process is longer. Courts will take part of the estate as coverage of probate fees. This deficit could be larger if a probate attorney gets involved. All the expenses can cut into the inheritance of your heirs. You may also want to avoid probate if you live a private life and want to keep it private when you are gone. The probate process is very public.
Not Updating Plans
You should always make sure you have a solid estate plan. Many people have plans, but it is important to have a well-designed plan to ensure your assets go where you want them. Your plan needs to be updated over time. Your life is constantly going to change so you cannot expect your estate plan to remain the same. You may have new life events, such as a marriage or birth of a child, or your goals may change over time. There may be policy changes where you live that can affect your plan. Reviewing and revising should always be part of the plan.
You cannot take your property with you once you are gone. An estate plan is your opportunity to decide where your assets go. You want to avoid disputes between heirs, probate, and not updating plans while you are estate planning.
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