When a person dies without an estate plan, the courts have to decide how to divide their assets. In many cases, some family members are not happy with the way money and property is divided and conflicts result that take years to resolve. You can avoid most of that conflict by having a clear estate plan.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be complicated and creating one can resolve a lot of questions after you die. An Attorney Allentown residents turn to for all of their legal needs may advise you to include several documents in your estate plan depending on your individual needs.
Everyone should have a last will and testament. This document can be very simple. If you have minor children or you care for a disabled family member, your will should list a guardian to care for them when you are gone. Be sure to talk to the person you name in advance so you are sure they are prepared to assume the responsibility.
Many assets are distributed based on beneficiary designations. When you open a life insurance policy, savings account, IRA or 401(k), you will fill out a designation form. These accounts are passed directly to the person you list on the form so be sure to review them periodically to ensure they are still consistent with your wishes.
If you expect your family members to disagree about how your assets are divided after your death, a revocable trust may be a good option for you. A trust gives you control over how your money and property is passed down to your heirs. It also gives your family a layer of privacy because assets that are included in a trust do not go through probate court.
Preparing for death is rarely a pleasant task. However, by setting up a clear plan while you are alive, you can help make it easier for your family after you are gone. By working with an estate planning Attorney Allentown residents trust, such as Drake Hileman & Davis, you can set up a legally enforceable plan for the distribution of your assets to your family members or other loved ones.