When you start getting older, one of the things you need to think about is your estate plan. If you want to protect your loved ones and give them the best opportunity to receive assets and inheritances, then you need a will, trust and other legal protections in place.
When you don’t take these steps before your death, your family could end up going through the probate process. Probate can be tedious and time-consuming. Some of the issues that may result from it include:
- Conflicts between beneficiaries
- Disputes over specific assets
- Delays in the court system
- Emotional strain
- Expensive court costs
When you die without a will, your family may need to deal with probate, delays in having the case heard, the emotional strain of going through court after your death and the expense of paying for probate costs.
The good news is that you can take steps to help your family totally avoid probate, so that they don’t have as much of a chance of getting caught up in disputes or having to wait for the inheritances that you’ve left behind.
What can you do to protect your family against going through probate?
To protect your family against going through probate, you need to create a will. You may also want to create trusts. Why?
With a will, you detail what you want to have happen to your assets. You determine the distribution of those assets, and your family won’t necessarily get a say in where those assets go unless they file a will contest.
If you decide to create trusts, those are often even more protective. Trusts are held by a third party and may not be considered as a part of your estate, depending on the type you have. If a trust is held outside the estate, it pays out when the right requirements are met, such as when you pass away or when your child reaches a certain age.
Your attorney can talk to you about different options to help your family avoid probate and all the frustration that comes with it. Wills and trusts are both good options that you may want to work with.