An estate plan helps organize and manage an individual’s estate in preparation for their incapacitation and eventual death. It can include a combination of wills, trusts, powers of attorney and healthcare initiatives. As a result, an order is established for distributing funds and property.
An estate plan seems like the logical solution to dispose of one’s property. However, there are family members who may be unhappy with the decisions. Here are a few estate planning tips to keep the peace to minimize potential issues. Once you’ve read these contact one of our representatives at Three Rivers Law Center to get started.
Don’t Wait To Create an Estate Plan
Some believe they’re either too young or don’t have enough assets to create an estate plan. In the end, age and monetary value don’t matter. If your family regularly relies on you, an estate plan gives you and your loved ones peace of mind.
You must be of sound mind to create a plan with a Washington estate planning attorney. You’re at your lowest ebb when recuperating or receiving medical treatments to stave off serious illness. Thus, the estate plan’s details could result in someone contesting your will.
Establish a Checklist
Several items make up an estate plan. Even if you work with the best estate planning attorney you still need a checklist for estate planning to ensure you cover every point. For instance, the current list of your monetary and property assets.
Additionally, make sure your estate planning checklist covers the following:
- Property titles and deeds
- Financial information
- Proof of identity documents to use when verifying asset distribution
- Beneficiary designations
- Insurance policies
- An advanced healthcare directive or living will
- Your last will and testament or a revocable living trust
- A financial power of attorney
- A healthcare power of attorney
Establish a No-Contest Clause
Even if your estate plan seems ironclad, there will be family members and other recipients who believe they didn’t receive their just due. Instead of swallowing their disappointment, they may decide to contest the will. To maintain peace, consider adding a no-contest clause (NCC) to your estate planning checklist.
Choose the Right Directors
You need someone to distribute your plan’s assets once you pass on. You can consider a family member. However, you must ensure they will maintain impartiality. They can’t let their feelings get in the way during the will or trust’s execution.
Another solution is to select a third-party executor or trustee. For instance, hire one of the best estate planning attorney firms. If they work with you on the plan, they know a good deal about the assets and paperwork for a smooth transition.
TV shows and films feature plenty of will readings where no one gets a dime except for the innocent niece. These circumstances aren’t the norm in the real world. On the contrary, most plans evenly distribute assets to all expected beneficiaries.
Don’t let animosity spill into your estate planning checklist. Holding back on distribution due to a family member’s momentary slight causes continued friction when you die.
Regularly Review Your Estate Plan
Situations change throughout your lifetime. Assets come and go due to economic circumstances. In turn, what you own can differ from the estate plan’s initial creation.
What this means is you must regularly review your estate plan with your team. Examine each document and add or remove information.
For example, you may want to set up a trust for a new grandchild or redistribute property to different parties. Continue to do this until you aren’t able to make responsible decisions.
Creating a good estate plan isn’t an easy task to accomplish, especially on your own. Questions continually emerge about asset distribution, healthcare, and powers of attorney. You can’t leave these unanswered.
To get started with a good estate plan, reach out to one of our representatives at Three Rivers Law Center. We’ll make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys to establish your peace of mind.