Your Estate is Part of Your Legacy: Help Your Family by Avoiding Probate
After your death, you might look forward to passing on your estate and establishing your legacy. However, if you haven’t done any estate planning, your family isn’t avoiding probate court and your legacy could be mired in months of expensive court hearings. Estate planning is the process of mapping out the distribution of your assets in the event of your death or incapacitation. You don’t have to own a large estate to engage in estate planning, but it is a good idea to work with an estate planning attorney to make sure your final wishes are carried out the way you want.
When you are young it’s easy to make excuses and dismiss something like estate planning, but as you get older, telling yourself that you aren’t planning on dying is a bit unrealistic. Your assets, no matter how modest, can be liquidated. You can support the people and the organizations you feel deserve your fortune, or you can have it locked in probate court and spent on attorney’s fees.
Reasons to Plan Your Estate Now Instead of Waiting
1. Your Assets are Not Immediately Accessible
Probate Court can take weeks or months depending on the size of your estate. Your family will not initially have access to your bank account. So, that leaves your family to pay for things like funeral costs, property taxes, and property insurance out of their own pocket. If they don’t have the money, these things could be seized by the government or another organization.
2. Probate Court Requires that Fees are Paid Immediately
There are court filing fees and publication costs associated with probate court. These fees must be paid immediately for the court to proceed with your case. If your family hires a probate attorney, a retainer will need to be paid up front for the lawyer. All of these expenses will be paid out of your estate which means less money for your heirs.
3. Probate Court Records are Public
Like with any court case, probate court is a matter of public record. That means your assets, liabilities, beneficiaries, and personal representatives are available for anyone to read or review. Estate planning can avoid probate which means your information remains confidential and not accessible to the public.
4. Living and Operating Expenses Still Need to Be Paid
If you have other people in your life that depend on your income, then they could be penalized if there is not an estate plan or will. Since your bank account can’t be accessed, they don’t have the money to pay for basic living needs like utilities or groceries. They could be stuck scraping by for months until the court settles your estate.
The Paths to Avoiding Probate Court
A Living Trust
This is the easiest way to ensure your assets are distributed after your death with no probate court. A living trust takes all your assets and puts them into a trust that is managed by a trustee for the benefit of your beneficiaries. Since the assets are already distributed to the trust, there is no need for probate court.
Naming Beneficiaries on Accounts
This simple action can avoid a lot of headache. If you own a bank account, investment, retirement plan, life insurance policy, pension plan, 401K plan, IRA account, or stocks or bonds, then you can name a beneficiary on those accounts. This person would receive all the money in the account upon your death. This process starts by requesting the necessary paperwork from the organization you are a part of, filling it out, and turning it back in.
Jesse Kalter Law and LeAnn Schumann Can Make Sure Your Estate Avoids Probate Court
Your family will have enough to worry about when laying you to rest after your death. Adding more stress to their lives in the form of probate court will make a difficult situation unbearable. Taking the time to plan your estate with a trust or a will makes sure they can focus on their grief and not giving away your assets. LeAnn Schumann is an experienced estate planning attorney and a key member of Jesse Kalter Law. She has the experience and knowledge to assist you in creating a clear, concise, and final plan for your assets. She is available to serve the people of Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Fernley, Dayton, Yerington, Douglas County, and all other Northern NV rural counties.
Avoiding Probate is Easy if you Hire One of the Best Estate Planning Lawyers in Reno
Contact Jesse Kalter Law Today for a Confidential Case Evaluation and Consultation
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