Do you need a will or a trust? If you do not have a will and trust or have not updated your documents recently you need to consult with an attorney who concentrates in estate planning. Wills and trusts should be reviewed often as laws and personal situations change. It is advantageous to reassess estate planning documents to ensure your goals are achieved. While most people believe a simple will is all that is necessary, a living trust is usually more beneficial.
A living trust that has been properly executed can be used to avoid probate and guardianship proceedings. Probate is a court procedure which is used to transfer assets and pay creditors when someone passes away. Guardianship proceedings occur when someone is unable to make financial or healthcare decisions and a judge must decide who should make decisions for that person. Both of these processes are very time consuming, expensive and often result in litigation.
The most common problems with wills and trusts occur when attorneys who do not concentrate in estate planning draft them or when someone uses an online will or trust. Wills and trusts executed improperly often cause many predicaments.
A lawyer who is well versed in estate planning can customize wills and trusts to fit your individual needs. It is important that the attorney drafting your will and trust has a clear understanding of your assets and who is entitled to them. You should immediately contact an estate planning attorney to update your will and trust if a major event has occurred such as the death of a spouse or child, marriage, divorce or if you have moved to a new home. These events can have a great impact on your overall estate plan and should be carefully considered.
* Please note that this article is for educational purposes only and may be considered advertising material. This article is not legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding any legal matters.