Don’t have a will or any other estate plan? You are probably not alone. There’s a common misconception that living trusts are only for wealthy people with lots of assets. Should individuals without a state plan pass away without acting, their estate would be considered intestate. That means the local probate court would make all decisions regarding their assets and how they are distributed to loved ones.
The fact of the matter is that estate planning is for everyone, whether you have a mansion or numerous offspring. Establishing a trust can minimize the hassle your family faces following your passing.
Where Does Your Wealth Go?
The main purpose of a will is to guide the courts and your family about your wishes regarding your estate. The will states who should receive which assets, as well as which individuals should be left out of any inheritance.
Writing your own will is a great way to make sure that specific concerns are taken care of, but the estate planning process is there to help you determine exactly what will happen to each asset in your possession or designate what you encourage relatives to pick out for themselves.
The simple act of making a complete list and covering all your bases in your will and with more complex estate planning procedures can significantly reduce the amount of strife between relatives during the stressful time after your passing.
Perhaps the saddest result of an incomplete estate plan is when someone gets left out. It’s important to understand how significant this can be to loved ones, especially while they’re still in mourning.
Probate is by far, one of the most problematic aspects of modern legal estate processing laws. It involves paying debts, filing final tax returns, notifying potential heirs and even liquidating assets. Depending on the complexity of the estate, probate can take months, and it can generate substantial administrative and legal costs.
A will doesn’t help your estate avoid probate, but trust does. Even a simple trust can minimize the impact of probate on the assets you place inside the entity. You can help your heirs get their inheritance quickly and without substantial costs by doing some simple planning.
People who take the step of establishing a revocable trust can keep their assets private and save their families that added cost and hassle. A properly funded trust set up by an experienced estate planning attorney can help your family completely avoid the probate process and almost entirely keep the state out of your business.
The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of Social Advisors, and should not be construed directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.