Try to Avoid Probate Litigation in 2021
If you are at an advanced age or are suffering from a terminal illness, you may be thinking about what will happen when you die. Who will get your assets? What steps can you take now that will benefit your family?
What you do now — before you die — can make your death less stressful for your loved ones. Your family members will be able to properly grieve rather than fighting over your assets. That’s why getting a will or trust in order now can save money and heartache down the road.
Without an estate plan in place, your estate will go into probate. Probate is a long and costly process that you should try to avoid. Probate takes, on average, 16 months to complete. With an estate plan in place, the process for distributing assets is much quicker and easier.
Here’s a good resolution for 2021: avoid probate litigation. Even if you are in good health, now is a good time to get your affairs in order. Here are some tips on how you can get your estate in order and prevent family drama.
Hire a Skilled Estate Planning Attorney
You can technically create your own estate plan with the many DIY options online. You’ll save money, but your plan may not work as expected. It’s better to make sure it’s done right by hiring a skilled lawyer who specializes in estate planning. By getting it done right, you can avoid major family drama down the road.
Create a Happy Family
Arguments are more likely to erupt after your death if there has been family drama for decades. Try to clear things up now so that relationships will be amicable. By resolving conflicts now, you can avoid probate litigation when you die.
Be Honest About Your Intentions
If you don’t want your child to inherit anything because of how they treated you, that’s your decision. However, make it known in the will and make sure your child is aware. Many people try to hide their intentions and then a family member is blindsided when they are left out of a will. Death causes enough grief and drama, so make your intentions known while you are still alive so there are no surprises once you die.
Keep Updating Your Estate Plan
An estate plan is not a one-off activity. An outdated will or trust is not useful and may not accurately reflect your wishes. Therefore, you should update it regularly as you experience life changes. For example, you will want to change it when you get married or divorced or when a new family member comes into the picture. You should also make changes when you lose or gain assets.
Seek Legal Help
Probate is a lengthy and costly process. Try to avoid litigation by following the tips above.
Fort Lauderdale probate litigation attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can assist you with your estate administration issues. We can help with even the most complicated matters. Schedule a consultation by calling 954-764-4330 or filling out the online form.