Estate planning need not be a tedious task if you enlist the services of an estate planning attorney. Studies show that less than 50% of the adult American population have a will and while no one wants to discuss their mortality, it is a fact of life that no person is immortal. In the grand scheme of things, how your probate assets are distributed may not seem like such a big deal. Except it is a big deal when you’re leaving loved ones behind. You don’t want to cause unnecessary rifts between family members as they squabble over your assets. When creating an estate plan, there are a few things that you’ll need to remember to help make the process easier for you and your loved ones.
When it comes to your estate planning checklist, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when consulting with an estate planning attorney.
1. Why is an Estate Plan Important?
The minute you fully understand why you need an estate plan, it becomes a lot easier to create one. Especially if you’re dividing your probate assets between your relatives. Remember, if you die without a will, state statutes will determine how to divide your assets between your spouse, children and relatives. If you are a parent of a minor, a will is not only used to ensure their future but to also choose a legal guardian for them in the event of your death.
2. Questions You Need to Ask Yourself During This Process
There are countless questions you need to ask yourself when creating an estate plan. Take your time to think over this or speak with your trusted legal advisor. Questions you should ask include but are not limited to:
- Who should inherit what asset?
- Who will execute the will?
- Who will look after my children properly and not just do it for their inheritance?
- What happens if I am in an accident and I am incapacitated?
- What happens if I become ill or mentally incapable of making decisions? Who will make medical decisions on my behalf?
- Is it necessary to create a trust?
If you feel that there may be questions you haven’t considered, speak to an estate planning attorney at Gary I. Handin, P.A., to ensure that you haven’t forgotten any of the important questions that you need to consider.
3. How to Create a Will
No matter how simple things may seem, it is always advisable to enlist the services of a licensed estate planning attorney. DIY online legal documents may seem like a great, quick and inexpensive way to draft your will but if there are complications, it will be too late for you to fix them. Hiring an estate planning attorney gives you the freedom to modify your will whenever you would like and your attorney will check in to make sure that you don’t want to make any changes to your will should your familial circumstances change.
4. Don’t Hide the Documentation
Once you’ve spoken with your estate planning lawyer about your will and how you wish to proceed, your lawyer will draft the necessary legal documentation. Do not hide this documentation. It is pointless to create a will and ensure that your probate assets are split between your relatives, if no-one can find the will. Store it in an at home safe or leave it with your lawyer if you’d like to ensure that no-one tampers with the contents of your will, but do not hide the will. You can even leave the original with your lawyer, keep a copy in your safe and ensure that at least two relatives are notified as to where the will is.
At Gary I. Handin, P.A., we provide legal services that you can count on. Don’t take unnecessary risks when it comes to your estate plan, contact us today to speak to a professional estate planning attorney at (954) 796-9600.