Make Sure Your Final Wishes Are Granted With A Valid Will

A will is an important part of your estate plan. Your will determines how your assets and your properties will be distributed when you are no longer here. There are certainly many benefits of creating a will, but there are so many people who do not have one. If you want to make sure all of your wishes are fulfilled when you are gone, you should definitely start thinking about creating a will, if you do not already have one.

There may be some things you do not consider when you are creating an estate plan, but your will can address a number of those issues. Your assets will be protected and your wishes will be honored.

If you have specific wishes on who will get a certain asset or who will get a certain amount of money, you are definitely going to want a last will and testament. When you have a valid will, you may be able to prevent your family members from arguing and mistrusting one another.

When you are creating your will, you should be aware that there are some things you should avoiding including in the will, such as the following:

The Funeral

You do not have to include your funeral plans in your will because the document will not be able to determine what happens at your funeral. However, if you want your family to pay for the expenses out of the money in your estate, you can include that in your will. If there are certain wishes you have for your funeral, you can discuss that with the person you plan to name as the executor.

Beneficiaries

You do not have to include any information about your beneficiaries of life insurance or any other benefits because those benefits will automatically go to the listed person. If you need to make changes to your policies, it is important that you make those changes while you still have time.

We know it can be difficult to think about creating a will, but it is a very important step in your estate planning process. If you want to make things easier for your loved ones by creating a will, contact us today for more information.

Estate Planning Advice: Should You Discuss Your Plans With Your Children?

One of the toughest decisions that people have to make in the estate planning process is how much information they should share with their children. There is not a one-size-fits-all method for this type of process.

What is best for your family depends on how you plan, when you plan, and all of your family’s circumstances. Many people are not comfortable talking about what they plan to do with their valuables and possessions. Many of them are worried their children may not want to work or may not want to work as hard if they know they will be getting a significant amount of money from their parents.

Another big worry is that discussing an estate plan could result in a family argument if one child will receive more than the other. Many families will just avoid the matter altogether so they can keep the peace in the family.

It can be really difficult to decide if you should discuss these plans with your family, but there are some very good reasons why you should at least consider having this discussion with your family.

The Arguments

If you think for a second that any of your children could be upset with your wishes, it may be better to discuss your plans with your children now. If there is an argument, at least you will be able to explain your decision to your children. You are still here and able to tell them why you did it.

Sudden Death

If you die unexpectedly, your family will have many questions about your plans and what steps they should take. If they do not know where you typically keep your things, it can be extra stress added onto the grief they are experiencing. If you discuss everything now, your family will know what to expect after you pass away.

If you are concerned with any issues about your estate plan, you should not hesitate to consult with an attorney. Contact us today if you would like a consultation.

Guardianship Litigation: Does The Appointed Guardian Need To Be Removed?

When anyone is named the guardian of a person who has become incapacitated, they have been given a big responsibility. When someone is named a guardian, they have to be meticulous about all matters concerning their ward, especially when it comes to their finances and their state of health.

If one of your family members has been named someone’s guardian and you feel he or she is not treating the ward fairly or if you think the guardian is not fulfilling their responsibilities, guardianship litigation may be the best way to handle this matter.

You can tell the court why you feel the appointed guardian should no longer be responsible for caring for your other family member. The court can decide whether or not the appointed guardian should be removed.

If the appointed guardian does any of the following or has any of the following, you can present your case to the court.

Here are some reasons why the court will have the appointed guardian removed:

  • The guardian is using their powers to his/her advantage
  • The guardian is not fulfilling any of the responsibilities he/she promised to fulfill
  • The guardian has been convicted of a felony
  • The guardian abuses drugs and/or alcohol
  • The guardian is not following any of the orders given by the court
  • The guardian is not using the finances on the ward, but himself/herself instead

If you know the appointed guardian is not being responsible and is not properly looking after your loved one, you can contact us today for additional information.

Will The Estate Probate Last For Many Years?

Many people do not know much about probate, wills, guardianship, etc. These are not usually the topics that are discussed while people are sitting around the dinner table. It is important that we all know something about these topics, even if it is just the basics.

There are many myths and misconceptions about probate. One of the common misconceptions is that it takes years for an estate to be probated. However; many estates do not take years to reach a resolution.

One of the main delays during a probate involves the state law. Creditors have to be given enough time to file a claim. How much time a creditor gets to file a claim is different in every state. After the creditors have been given a period of time to file a claim, the estate can be closed after the deceased person’s representative has paid the debts.

If everything goes the way it is supposed to go, many estates will be resolved in a year or within a year. There are some things that can slow the probate process and have it lasting for years. Here are some things that can cause a probate to last for multiple years:

  • The size of the estate(If the estate is a big one, it may take longer than the standard time frame mandated by your state)
  • Family arguments and disagreements

Generally, a probate will not go on for multiple years, but there are some cases where it does happen. If you want to know how you can avoid a probate or if you need advice on how to get through a probate, contact us today.

Mental Capacity And A Will

Generally, anyone who is over the age of 18 is thought to have the ability to read a document, understand it, and sign it. This same way of thinking applies to wills. You must be able to understand that a will is being signed and you will also have to understand who will be impacted by the will.

One of the common reasons for a challenge of a will is the person’s mental capacity. If the person who signed the will does not have the mental capacity, the signed document will not be able to stand.

There is a variety of estate planning documents that can be signed, and this means there are different variations of mental capacities. When it comes to wills and other estate planning documents, how much mental capacity does a person need?

If a person hallucinates or is delusional, a person could likely be seen as not having mental capacity. However, if the person is having these hallucinations still creates a will that leaves everything to a spouse, children, and/or grandchildren, there may not be any problems.

In order for something to be valid, the person will need to know what was signed. You will be giving things to other people so you have to know what you are giving and who you are giving it to.

Many people do meet the necessary requirements that are needed to sign a will. If you are concerned about someone’s mental capacity when it comes to the signing of a will or if you have questions about when a person is unfit to create a will, contact us today for a consultation.

Why Should You Have Your Estate Plan Ready Now?

No one likes to think about dying, whether it is from old age, an illness, a car accident, etc. As difficult as it is to think about, it is an important topic to discuss. Unfortunately, many families are caught off guard by the death of someone they truly love.

Things will be even more difficult for your family to deal with if you die without a will or an estate plan. Some people do have a will or an estate plan, but it hasn’t been updated in years.

Without an estate plan, you will not have any control over what happens to your property and your assets. You will also have no control over who will get anything you leave behind.

If you have young children and you do not leave behind a will, you will not have control over who will take care of your children. The court system will have to step in and take control.

Estate planning is not just about which loved one gets a certain property or asset. An estate plan is about the instructions you leave behind. This is especially relevant if you are incapacitated and will be dependent on someone else to care for you.

Do you have concerns about what will happen to your family, property, assets, etc? Those concerns should make you want to take the right steps in getting your affairs in order.

You should have the motivation to speak with an estate planning attorney so you can get the ball rolling while you still have time.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Four Tips To Choose the Right Guardian

No parent likes to think about dying. They don’t want to think about what will happen to their children when they are not around. However, as a parent, you need to think about your children so that they are provided for if you die unexpectedly.

Naming Guardians for your children, either in your Will or by separate estate planning document prior to your death, allows you to determine who you want to care for your children if you die before your children become adults. It can be really hard to decide who should get that responsibility but here are some things to think about when choosing the right guardian for your children.

  • Pick someone that your children know, trust, and hopefully already love. You don’t want your children to have to live with strangers. Their life is going to be uprooted so much already that you should do your best to find someone who they are comfortable around.
  • Think about people who have the same beliefs as you. You want to pick parents who are going to raise your children the same way that you would. Make sure they have the same thoughts on parenting, religion, money, and other important topics for you.
  • Make sure that they can financially afford your children. Though you hope to provide for your children in your Will, you know how costly it can be to have children. You don’t want to put your children in a home where money is a big struggle.
  • Find out if they are even interested. Becoming a guardian is a big responsibility and you need to decide if they would be willing to do that for you. They may end up raising your children so you need to make sure that they are up for the job.

Finding a guardian for your children who already know and loves your child is not easy. You also need to ensure that they can afford your children and that they will raise your children the way that you want them to be raised. Then, you need to ask them if they are up for the challenge!

Contact us for all of your legal needs.