Three Common Questions About Estate Planning

Estate planning attorney dallas

Most wills are fairly predictable for the most part. They distribute assets, name guardians for children, name will executors, et cetera. There have been several wills, however, with not-so-predictable requests. If you’ve ever eaten a Pringle, you’ve experienced one of the inventions of Fredric Baur. He was so fond of his Pringles can invention, in fact, that he made it a part of his will that his family bury his ashes in one. And in 2008, in deference to his wishes, they did.

Wills, trusts, and estate planning are all important for making your wishes known so that everything moves smoothly if you become incapacitated, and when you die. Here are three questions people often ask in regards to estate planning.

1. How Can I Help My Family Avoid Probate?

Probate is the legal process in which a person’s will is observed and carried out. During probate, multiple necessary actions are carried out that need to happen after a death. Creditors are notified, real estate is sold if necessary, and income taxes and other administration costs are removed from the estate assets before will distribution. Probate can be time consuming, though, and since a probate attorney is usually hired, also costly. If you want to avoid probate, you will need to choose a revocable living trust.

2. How Does a Revocable Living Trust Differ From a Will?

Although they are similar documents with similar aims, there are some key differences between revocable living trusts and wills. If privacy is important, then revocable living trusts might be a good idea. They are kept private, while wills are made public. Living trusts also have better protection from lawsuits (which are rare, but do happen), and they can also name a conservatorship, or someone in charge of you or your property if you become unable to manage them yourself. On the other hand, wills allow you to name guardians for children, validate your desires without a notary public, and instruct on how debt should be paid off.

3. Why Would I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

About points out that estate plans are something you don’t want to mess up; “One wrong word… can change the entire intent of a will or trust.” Although there are many online tools available for easy estate planning, it’s easy to create an invalid request without realizing it. In Florida, for example, you can’t choose a non-state, non-family member resident to be your personal representative. Mistakes like this can be costly, and stretch out the legal process. Lawyers can also advise you in more complex financial or family situations involving minor children, real estate, business property, divorce, and more.

Do you think you have adequate asset protection
for when you die? Let us know in the comments. More on this topic.