While most people think of a will as the largest or only component of an estate plan, in reality, a will is just one piece of a full and complete estate plan. Having a will is a minimum for everyone. But depending on your circumstances, a will itself may not be enough.
With a will, you can direct that your personal representative give certain assets to specific people. If you have a niece who loves your collection of crystal ware, you can leave those items specifically to her. If your son loves the watch you wear each day, you can leave the watch specifically to him.
It’s important to specifically name who gets what assets. If you don’t, your personal representative may not distribute your belongings the way you intend.
Avoiding probate is a key goal of any good estate plan. Probate is time consuming and expensive. When someone dies, their estate will go through probate, which is the process where a court determines what liabilities need to be paid and where assets are distributed.
Probate is expensive. It costs several hundred dollars to simply file the paperwork and will cost much more in attorney’s fees and other court costs. The best way to avoid probate is to have a full and complete estate plan which will include trusts, payable on death accounts, and other estate planning tools which will avoid probate and keep your estate costs down. This will serve to give you the peace of mind you need knowing your heirs will receive the full value of what you want them to receive instead of having the state take a cut.
Don’t try to do Your Own Estate Plan
Many people think they can draft their own will and courts will stand by it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There are certain requirements which must be met in order for a will to be valid. If your will isn’t valid, no one will know until after your death. And at that point, it’s too late.
A lawyer gives you access to experience helping clients navigate the rough waters of estate planning. You need someone you can trust to help you create an estate plan that achieves your goals and protects your assets and heirs.
Contact us Today
As your estate planning attorney, we will meet with you to get a complete understanding of your life and your goals. We know this topic is uncomfortable but we will do everything in our power to make sure your experience is pleasant and your goals are achieved. You deserve to use the services of a trusted and seasoned estate planning lawyer to guide you in putting your estate plan together.
Contact an estate planning lawyer for more information.