While thinking about your mortality may not be pleasant, spending time with an estate planning attorney can be a valuable investment in the future of your family. With a sound will and legal guidance from a trusted professional, you can ensure that your wishes are respected after you’re gone and avoid bitter conflicts over your assets. Planning your estate is a complex emotional and legal process, so here are a few facts you should understand about the law before you begin.
3 Essential Insights Into Estate Planning
1. Only Valid Wills Are Legally Enforceable
No matter how often you’ve verbally expressed your wishes regarding the distribution of your belongings, a will is the only way to make your decisions legally enforceable. Each state has different requisites for what makes it valid, with some only recognizing notarized documents, while Kentucky and other states require the signatures of two witnesses. To ensure yours is binding, it’s best to have an estate planning attorney prepare it for you.
2. Everyone Needs a Will
Some people assume that estate planning is only for those with complex assets, significant wealth, and diverse investments. However, this is not the case. If you pass away without preparing a will, your belongings, including items of sentimental value, will be divided according to a strict formula and distributed to your relatives, regardless of the significance of those relationships. Without estate planning, your heirlooms, savings, and vehicle could be given to people from whom you are estranged or don’t even know.
3. Being Named the Executor Is a Major Responsibility
If you’ve been named as the executor of a loved one’s estate, you’ll be tasked with inventorying their belongings, closing their accounts, and distributing their assets to the beneficiaries. This requires careful record-keeping and due diligence, so it’s best to have an estate planning attorney guide you through the process.
Whether you’re just beginning your estate plan, updating your will, or have been named as the executor in probate court, the legal team at Lonneman & McMahan, PLLC, will make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. For over 30 years, they’ve been providing diligent, compassionate legal services to clients throughout Hardin, Larue, Nelson, Hart County, and Grayson counties. Visit their website to learn more about their will and probate services, call (270) 765-2190 to schedule your free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney, and follow their Facebook for more legal insight.