Estate planning provides you the opportunity to address your specific wishes and ease the confusion and uncertainty for your loved ones in the event of your death. Most people are familiar with the fundamentals of estate planning, though there are details that you might overlook.
Consider these tips when you start developing your estate plan.
Writing a will does not prevent probate
You may have heard that creating a valid will with witness signatures can keep your estate out of probate. This is not true. If you want to protect your loved ones from the cost and delay associated with a complex probate process, create a living trust for your assets. Probate does not apply to assets in a trust.
Multiple executors may cause confusion
If you name multiple executors in an attempt to ensure survivorship, you may create more conflict. If the two executors disagree on the handling of your estate, this creates a challenge in the distribution of your assets. Appoint one executor that you trust and update your estate plan regularly in case something changes.
You need reliable witnesses
If someone contests your will for any reason, the court may subpoena your witnesses for testimony about your state of mind and the validity of the will. Keep your witnesses current so that they are accessible and able to testify in the event of litigation.
Protect your family from some of the common pitfalls of estate management with these tips. You can avoid the complexities of probate, ensure consistent estate administration and protect the validity of your will with careful estate planning.