After you pass, and leave behind an estate you cannot always control what happens to your property. Your family or beneficiaries may fight over who gets what, and the estate may be tied up in court for years. However, there are some important steps that yo can take to help prevent a situation like this.
Create a will
A will is a legal document stating how you want your estate to be distributed after you die. Your will also names an executor, who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes., and can even nominate guardians for minor children.
However, simply creating a will is not the end of it. You must make sure you review and update your will regularly as your life circumstances change. You may want to add or remove people from your will, change what a beneficiary receives, and even include a trust within your will, depending on what your needs are. If you don’t have a will, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of your state. This could mean that your property goes to someone you don’t want it to, and create disputes among your beneficiaries.
Choose beneficiaries carefully
When you’re creating your will, you’ll also need to choose beneficiaries for your assets. These are the people who will inherit your property when you die. Again, you should choose responsible people who will use the inheritance in the way you intend.
Set up one or more trusts
A trust is a legal entity that can hold assets on behalf of another person. You can use this estate planning tool to control how and when your beneficiaries receive their inheritance. For example, you could set up a trust to provide for your child’s education or health care expenses.
You can also set up a living trust, an estate planning tool that can help avoid probate. Probate is the legal process of distributing a deceased person’s estate. You could also use a trust to prevent your beneficiaries from squandering their inheritance, known as a “spendthrift trust.”
All in all, estate planning is not a one-time event. Therefore, you should review your estate plan regularly and make necessary changes. Taking these steps can help prevent disputes over your estate, increase your chances of avoiding probate, and ensure that your property goes to the people you want it to.