What are the biggest mistakes made in Estate Planning?
our demise is unpleasant to think about so often we simply do nothing. after someone dies, we sometimes hear, “mom promised me that i could have the house, but she never did a will.” if a valid will is not prepared, any assets in mom's name will pass according to Nevada law. verbal promises of gifts upon death are not enforceable. if you want to make sure the proper people get your property, then you must have a valid will
hands down, this is where many attorneys make the most money.if you want to ensure that your family will fight in court for years over your estate and put lots of money in attorneys pockets, this is the way you should go. do-it-yourselfers often forget to get witnesses, notaries, or fail to use clear language in the will. the same can be true with attorneys who do not specialize in estate planning.
What is estate planning?
Simply put, estate planning is the process of you (or you and your spouse) making the necessary decisions required to put your affairs in order, and memorialize your wishes before you pass away or become incapacitated. In the event of a sudden accident or illness, you can rest assured that your spouse, children, chosen nonprofit organization, or other persons of your own choosing, will receive the assets you would like them to receive.
Why should I avoid probate?
You may want to avoid probate because it is usually an unnecessarily complicated, expensive process for the transfer of title of your hard-earned assets. Occasionally, legal battles between family members may cause it to take months, if not years, to settle. After the death of a loved one, filing papers with the court, attending hearings, and dealing with legal battles for years is not something that your loved ones are going to want to focus on. And, it is a waste of your assets that could better be enjoyed by your beneficiaries.
How can I avoid probate?
Establishing a revocable living trust is one of the best ways that you can avoid probate for your family members in the future. You can also do so by having a “payable-on-death” account or by holding joint ownership of property (ex: with your spouse), but you should discuss these alternatives with a knowledgeable attorney before deciding which option to choose, as they each have their own benefits and problems
What happens if I don’t have a will OR TRUST?
No estate planning at all results in an “intestate estate.” By choosing not to have a will or trust you are allowing your estate to pass according to the laws of the State of California, to your heirs at law. You give up the security and peace of mind of knowing exactly who will receive the benefit of all your hard work, and sentimental valuables. You may also forfeit the benefit of reducing any taxes due at your death.