It is not particularly enjoyable to realize that you are going to die one day. As you come to accept that truth, knowing that you can choose how to divide your estate and pass on different things to friends and family members can fill your heart with pride because you are able to give to the people you care about. That's why it can be distressing to think about your loved ones having to head to probate court after you're gone. If you want to ensure that doesn't happen, use the following suggestions.
Take Steps to Settle Your Debts
You may be excited to give your oldest son your house in your will, but you may not realize that your creditors must be notified that you have passed on and may lay claim to that house. Your loved ones may have to head to probate court to settle the issue.
Therefore, before you think of giving away expensive heirlooms or real estate, make sure you have settled as many of your debts as possible. That way, when you give someone something in your will, they can keep it without a problem. Consult a local accountant or a probate lawyer, like David R Webb Attorney, to make a list of the debts you need to take care of.
Take Your Estate Planning Documents Out Every Thanksgiving
Life events such as births of your grandchildren and your kid's divorce happen throughout the year; you might not remember to add the names of the new twins to your will, take your son-in-law off off of the beneficiary list for your life insurance policy, or make many other changes that reflect your new wishes. As a result, when you pass away, your loved ones might end up in probate court arguing over what your wishes truly were.
For that reason, it is a good idea to have a regular time for updating and changing estate planning paperwork so that you make a habit of it. A great time for reviewing these documents is Thanksgiving or another major holiday when your loved ones are already in your thoughts.You might also mention to them that you are updating your estate planning materials and ensure that everyone knows where the materials are kept. When the papers are needed, everyone will know where to look for them.
Be sure to do everything possible to protect your loved ones after you pass away and help them to avoid having any problems related to the assets you leave them. Talk over your actions with a reputable probate lawyer who understands what you'd like to do and can assist you in helping your loved ones avoid probate proceedings.