With the start of a new decade, people around the country are making resolutions for things they feel will improve life in the upcoming year and beyond. Some people are forgetting one important resolution that can help not only you as you navigate through your future, but can also help your loved ones when you are gone. This is estate planning.
The probate process is one that is often misunderstood. You might think that if your loved one had a will, you won't have to go through probate; however, this may not be the case. The probate process serves a few purposes. One of these is that the will is filed with the court and proven. During this process, the witness of the signing of the will provides testimony or an affidavit that notes the person was of sound mind and understood the implications of the will at the time of the signing.
Some adults choose to create an estate plan that includes a will, and sometimes, trusts. Anyone who is responsible for the handling of the estate when a loved one passes away should be prepared for the duties that come with this task. It isn't always easy because some estates are fairly complex. Knowing how to take care of the necessary tasks can make doing them easier when you are already dealing with the emotional trauma that comes with the loss of your loved one.
Thinking about having to go through probate when your loved one passes away might bring up feelings of fear and dread. It doesn't have to be this way. In some cases, a person's estate plan might make it possible to avoid probate.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your family members is to have an estate plan in place when you pass away. The cornerstone of this is the will. When you write yours, you don't have to do anything extravagant. It can be fairly simple as long as it has the legally required elements and doesn't contain anything that may have it tossed out.
There is a lot to think about when creating or administering an estate, with probate at the top of the list.