Creating an estate plan takes work. It can be both complicated and time-consuming–and even a little confusing. It’s easy to overlook certain things that will make managing the estate much more difficult when the time comes. That’s why it’s a good idea to respectfully offer to look over your loved one’s estate plan. Here are some areas to check for.
Account for All Assets
A large portion of any estate plan is the list of assets. This helps smooth out the process of distributing the assets and minimizes the bickering when the time comes. Make sure that all of your loved one’s assets are listed, along with the beneficiary for each. Remember, your loved one might think that their possessions aren’t worth fighting over, but relationships have been broken over some pretty trivial things. Include all of your real estate holdings, cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, royalties, oil and water rights, vehicles, and anything else that is either monetarily or intrinsically valuable.
Make Sure Transfers Are Smooth
Sadly, many estate transfers are anything but smooth. This happens most often when there is no will, but even with a will, it isn’t always smooth sailing. A confusing or incomplete will, the existence of multiple different wills, and a poorly chosen executor can all slow things down. Additionally, probate court can take over a year to complete. To help things transfer more smoothly, ask your loved one to consider placing their assets in a living trust. A home placed in a living trust can help avoid probate court.
Check For a Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive
No one wants to think about the possibility of themselves or a loved one becoming incapacitated to the point that they can no longer manage their own finances or health care decisions. And yet, that is always a very real possibility and it can happen at any moment. Make sure that your loved one is prepared for such an event and assigns someone they trust with power of attorney. It’s a good idea to include a health care addendum as well. Your health care addendum will address who can represent you to make medical decisions, as well as the extent of heroic measures you are willing to undergo in a life-threatening situation.
Having an effective estate plan is vital for a smooth transition. In the case of estate planning, as with most things in life, a little planning can make a huge difference down the road. Don’t risk offending your loved one by being pushy when you offer your help. Do so as an act of love.
Did you enjoy this article? Here’s more to read: WHEN HIRING AN ESTATE ATTORNEY ISN’T OPTIONAL
In the intricate realm of family law, the question of whether guardianship overrides parental rights is a complex one.
While legal guardians are entrusted with decision-making authority for a child, parental rights remain a significant factor in determining the best interests of the child. The court carefully weighs the circumstances and prioritizes the child’s well-being when making decisions regarding custody and guardianship.
Navigating the complexities of guardianship and parental rights can be challenging, and it is crucial to seek professional legal advice to understand the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction. By doing so, you can ensure the best possible outcome for both the child and the parties involved.