Life can and often does change in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re planning a wedding of starting your family it’s essential that your Estate Plan change with your life. So, if you’ve recently married, divorced, started a new business, or purchased your dream home, reviewing your Estate Plan today can save your loved one’s time and money tomorrow.
So, Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Good estate planning is often more impactful for families with modest assets because the loss of time and money as a result of poor estate planning is more detrimental.
A will provides your instructions, but it does not avoid probate and will only direct how your assets are devised. The assets must still go through your state’s probate court before they can be distributed to your intended beneficiaries. The process varies greatly from state to state, but it can become expensive with attorney’s fees, executor commissions, and court costs. It can also take anywhere from a few months to two years or longer. In most cases probate proceedings are open to the public, and your creditors and any excluded heirs are notified of their opportunity to file for payment of a debt or a share of your estate. In short, the court system, not your family, controls the process.
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