Providing for your loved ones after you pass away is a serious endeavor. This involves a final loving gift of all the assets and personal possessions you have accumulated throughout your life. Considering the importance of this gift, you do not want to take chances with the creation of your last will. For this reason, be sure to discuss your options with our Charlotte probate lawyer.
Beware of Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning
You will see certain companies on the Internet hawking do-it-yourself estate planning. They dwell on how easy it is to simply fill in the blanks on a generic template document. Indeed, filling in blanks may be easy, but will the document actually do what you intend in court?
The last will must be deemed valid by the probate court in the jurisdiction within which the deceased resided. Anyone who wanted to contest the will could do so before this court. And, creditors and claimants could step forward as well.
Wills Are Not the Only Option You Have for Your Estate Plan
Do-it-yourself wills can be risky, but if you plan ahead intelligently with professional guidance you may find that the creation of the last will is not your only and best option. It may be possible to save money, time, and trouble by utilizing an alternative such as a revocable living trust. Don’t take risks with the future of your loved ones. If you want to plan ahead responsibly, take action right now to arrange for a consultation with our licensed and experienced Charlotte probate lawyer.
Always Keep an Original Copy of Your Will
A lot of people assume their estate is just fine if they have copies of their Will spread about. The issue with a copy, however, is it can be contested in court. So what is the big deal about having a copy of a Will rather than the original? For some families, that difference can result in their wishes not being followed.
Probate court judges are left to determine why you only have a copy of the Will and whether the original was revoked — a family member can claim you destroyed the original intentionally. When this occurs, the laws of intestacy can take over and they can be devastating, particularly for a split family where children are spread among multiple marriages. When different parties contest that Will, the interested parties can receive a portion of the estate that they were never entitled to. Always have the original copy of your Will stored in safe place or even with the courts to prevent your Will from being contested.
Wills Require the Probate Proceedings
When you use a last will to distribute your resources to your loved ones after you die, the estate must go through the legal process of probate, and there are reasons why you may want to avoid this.
One of them is the fact that probate can consume a lot of time and the heirs to the estate do not receive their due until the probate court closes the matter. This court would also hear any arguments that disgruntled parties may have concerning the validity of the will. Nobody wants to see their wishes challenged, and steering clear of probate can reduce this possibility.
Consider Using a Revocable Living Trust
An option that you may want to consider is a revocable living trust to transfer assets to your loved ones. These trusts enable the transfer of assets outside of the process of probate. They can also include an incapacity planning element as you name a disability trustee who would handle your affairs if you become unable to do so.
If you’re interested in exploring alternatives to a last will such as a revocable living trust, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to set up an appointment with our experienced and licensed Charlotte probate lawyer.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding wills or any other probate or estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC or Huntersville, NC) or for individuals in Kentucky at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY).