How to Ensure that the Estate is Distributed in Accordance with the Decedent’s Wishes

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A lot of people like to have things in order. That is why most have resorted to planning most of their life out to ensure that they have something to follow. Sometimes, planning goes beyond one’s lifetime and extends even after death. It is a common practice for anyone to already think of how they are going to distribute their life’s hard work when they pass away. This is to avoid any problems and issues later on which stems from possible disagreements over someone’s share and claims that are not merited. Hence, this is an important step to assure that people will leave behind peacefully. This is also an important step so that those who will be left behind would transition clearly and smoothly. To ensure that the estate is distributed in accordance with the decedent’s wishes, one must take the necessary legal actions to do so.

Probate Process

A lot of people feel a weight tied up with the term probate process but it shouldn’t be as dreaded as it is known to be. Probate is the administration of a will and it is supervised by a court who will see to it that the wishes indicated in a will would be carried into action. The process, as explained by an Alameda probate lawyer, would start with the executor of the will bringing the will to a court hearing. Legal counsel is important here to ensure that the will you conjure is valid and complete with your signature, notarization, signatures of the witnesses. It can be a long and tedious process but it settles everything that needs to be settled. An asset will definitely go to probate if there is no specified beneficiary and the judge will end up as the one who will decide its fate. Probate is important to demonstrate that a will is valid, to establish an estate bank account, to identify debts, and most importantly, to settle any disputes among claimants. An experienced lawyer can help expedite the whole process so that those who are left behind can also settle with their own lives.

What Are the Ways of Leaving Estate

There are several ways in which a person can leave assets and estates behind. You can certainly do this at the time of passing but you can also do this while you are still alive and kicking. Giving away financial gifts is one idea you can do so you can still see your family and close relatives enjoying your financial gifts. Although there are some considerations you must think of including tax for a certain amount of money.

Giving of money for education and medical reasons would exempt it from giving tax so if you wish to give the young ones their assurance of going to college then that would be rewarding on their part. Another way of leaving estate behind is by naming a beneficiary on a trust. Most commonly applied to people under the age of eighteen who lost parents but gained all of their wealth. Though they cannot take control of their money yet, they will do so once they reach legal age.

The trust will cover all of the expenses they incur while growing up including paying for their daily expenses, their school fees, and other needs. There are other more types of trust depending on who the beneficiary is. There is inheritance too that goes directly to the people named in someone’s will. If they are directly named under the insurance or one owner in joint ownership. The last will and testament are one of the most common ways to leave estate and process and it will go through the probate process before everything is to be awarded to the decedents.

Estate Planning

This is one essential step that precedes making a will. Estate planning refers to the process of determining all assets and estate and putting together an action plan that would be followed according to the decedent’s wishes, in short, you plan how your estate will be distributed. This is something done when one is still alive.

You should name all the people you want to receive an inheritance and you specify the quality and quantity. The point person needed here is an attorney who will provide legal advice and counsel, taking into consideration the laws of state and government to ensure that everything is legal and all the laws and rules apply. To be included in your estate are your assets, personal belongings, and even your debts. Even the whole process will be deducted on the estate including the taxes filed on the properties, the fees needed for the process, and the legal fee for the legal counsel. In preparation for the worst, a person can also include in their will the kind of medical attention they want in case they get incapacitated or severely sick. The most important effect of this is the assurance that the family would feel like they are taken care of.

Settling Any Issues or Disputes

Disputes over inheritance are no new issues. It has been a problem especially among wealthy families. These can definitely affect the distribution of an estate and slow everything down which will only get messier. In order to avoid any further problem, enlist a mediator who can help find the resolve they want. They can also liquidate all the assets and split the proceeds equally among themselves. It is more important than these things should be settled peacefully and outside of court if possible. If not, a judge would handle things and it can be an advantage too to avoid any further disagreements. Once the final decision has been made, everyone involved should find peace with what they get and start over again.

There is no greater way to ensure that the hard work someone has put in their life will be enjoyed and continued by deserving heirs. It is important that these processes are taken care of expertly. This is for the peace of mind and the future of the family and friends who are going to be left behind.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.