In an effort to have your wishes respected, you need to carefully plan your estate. There are a number of things that can go wrong if you don’t make a suitable plan. For instance, the family members may not know what your wishes were and will end up making decisions according to their own opinions, which might result in them going against your will. This article is going to give you some tips on how you can avoid such problems and set out a clear path for those who will be taking care of the distribution of assets after your death.
Picking Out The Right Legal Representative
The first mistake many people make is picking the wrong legal representative. This is one of the most important roles in your estate plan. The individual who acts as this person must be someone you can trust and will fulfill their responsibilities well so that everything goes smoothly after your death. This could be a spouse, adult child, sibling or another close relative. Remember that you need to discuss this option with them beforehand, so there are no disagreements about roles and responsibilities after death has occurred.
Choosing The Appropriate Lawyer
You also need to choose an estate planning lawyer you can trust. This person needs to be someone who has the required legal qualifications, is experienced with this type of work, and charges a reasonable fee for services rendered. This person will be in charge of drafting your will. The lawyers at Brown & Hobkirk explain that a will formalizes your final wishes on important life decisions such as guardianship and asset distribution and if you die without a valid will, state intestacy laws determine what happens to your assets and dependents. Then, when it comes to the cost, make sure you discuss fees upfront, so there are no unpleasant surprises later on. Draw up a contract that lists everything that’s necessary before agreeing to any payment arrangements.
Taking Care Of The Legal Paperwork
Once your legal representative and lawyer have been chosen, you need to get the ball rolling and make sure everything is in place. You can draw up a will for your lawyer to follow. Here is what you should consider including in your will:
- The name of the person who will be in charge of performing your funeral and details about the funeral and a list of all fees that need to be covered in connection with it, including casket costs, catering services, musicians, and officiants.
- A list of all bank accounts and investments, including their current balances, so there is no confusion when managing them after death has occurred. This also includes a list of any debts or outstanding bills you have which need to be paid before being distributed to anyone else.
- In addition, mention that whoever you’ve chosen as guardian for your children can use anything that’s left in trust for them up until they come of age at 18 years old. This is an important point if you think guardianship might become an issue when you’re gone.
- Proof of the identity of your legal representative who will take care of estate redistribution after death has occurred can also be included in this document.
- Schemes for distributing the common family home to the other spouse after death, if it is jointly owned by both spouses, but there are certain conditions attached for this option to work correctly. For instance, the deceased doesn’t own any other real estate apart from the one where they live together at this point in time or not more than 40% interest in the total property. Then, the trustee must give up any share of this home at market value to be received by the surviving spouse upon their death.
Having Your Documents Updated Regularly
For many people, the documents they make when they first start planning their estates remain valid for decades. However, there are cases where things change because of happenings like marriages and divorces, births, and deaths. It is important to review these documents regularly and fill out new versions if necessary. You should also make sure that those who will be involved in managing your estate after your death know where to find the latest documents.
An estate plan is necessary to be able to do something about your property after death has occurred. However, many people don’t know how to properly go about this process, which can result in mistakes that can cost them later on. To prevent any problems in the future when you handle your estate planning, consider using some of these tips in order to get started with this important project.