Estate planning is one of the most important actions you can take, allowing you to protect your assets and loved ones if something happens to you. However, it’s also a complex legal process, which many people find confusing and overwhelming. Below are some answers to common questions you might have about wills, probate, and everything else estate planning entails.
Common FAQ About Estate Planning
What happens if I pass away without a will?
When someone dies before preparing an estate plan, their assets are divided according to the intestate succession laws of your state. These statutes don’t make any room for the relationships you actually nurtured in life, so your most valuable possessions may go to people from whom you’re estranged, while those closest to you may get nothing.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of settling your outstanding debts, dividing your assets, and settling any legal challenges. Depending on the complexity of your estate, probate may take anywhere from six months to several years.
What are the benefits of setting up a trust?
Wills are sufficient for most families, but you may want to consider establishing a trust if you have complex assets or real estate in several states. These legal instruments also allow you to decide when and under what circumstances your beneficiaries receive their inheritances, ensuring the wealth you’ve built.
Who needs a power of attorney?
Durable powers of attorney are an essential part of any estate plan, allowing those you trust to make important decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. No matter your age or financial status, you should include a power of attorney with your will.
Since 1997, McPherson & McPherson Attorneys at Law has helped clients throughout Washington’s Whidbey Island ensure their wishes are respected. Thanks to their exemplary service, this local law firm is consistently chosen as the Best of Whidbey in the Whidbey News Group’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Visit their website for more on their will and estate planning services, or call (360) 678-4407 to schedule a consultation today.