Inheritance and probate protect the assets made during your life so that your descendants, or chosen causes, can benefit from them in death. Unfortunately, the process of establishing an estate can be difficult, as Forbes correctly highlights, and lead to lengthy and conflict filled probate periods after life. Getting around this and creating a watertight and easily interpreted estate is the key to ensuring a smooth run for those named, and the good news is that there are plenty of ways of achieving that – starting with legal help.
Differences In Representation
How legal advice can assist in the probate process differs from state to state. For example, a Cincinnati estate planning lawyer will focus on the fact that Ohio law prefers full probate for all single-held assets; in West Virginia, however, Nolo reckon that shortcuts can be found in smaller estates. It is essential that estate planning is done through experienced state-focused legal advocates that can engage with the specific demands of that state. Also consider where your assets are located – are you likely to have confusion over state lines due to stocks, shares and property?
Where wills are contested it’s typically due to a change in terms of the will or uneven wording throughout. Both of these issues can be met head on through a well planned will and estate that is communicated well through life. Don’t leave surprises in the will – be up front and honest about reflecting your relationships with people and where you want your estate to go, and have it reflected in legal documents. It will go a lot further in remedying issues.
Trusts And Protection
Inheritances are seldom spent well. According to CNN, up to 90% of inherited wealth is expended by the third generation. Of course, it is the choice and gift of the inheritors to spend their money as they see fit; it cannot hurt, however, to take a proactive view of inherited wealth and look at how it can continue to benefit the family for a long period.# This can be accomplished through trusts, or legally binding agreements on when property and other assets can be exchanged.
Putting in long term planning can help to secure the future of your family long beyond your own immediate children. Providing that sort of generational wealth can be life changing, influential, and help to cement your reputation.