Thinking about your own mortality is not something anyone likes to do, but it’s important so you don’t leave your loved ones with a mess after you’re gone. Knowing what documents you need and what goes into each document is confusing. That’s why it can be important to talk to a probate lawyer, like a probate lawyer for help.
What Is a Will?
Many people are referring to a will when they say they want an estate plan. What is a will, though? A last will and testament is a legal document that allows you the power to say who receives assets upon your death. It also allows you the opportunity to discuss how any liabilities are dealt with after your death.
This document gives you great control over how your personal items are distributed after you’re gone. For example, if your son enjoys your coin collection or your daughter enjoys your collection of crystal, you can leave those items specifically to them. It’s important that you include the full names of the people to whom you want to leave specific items. Simply saying that you want to leave an item to your daughter may not be sufficient.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process where a will is registered with the court and the court makes a determination as to the validity of the will and how the assets are distributed. This entire process usually takes less than a year, but there is a lot to be done during that time.
The cost of probate also varies. If there are many items requiring transfer of title, like real estate or vehicles, that can increase the costs associated with probate. Likewise, if a will is contested, that can greatly increase the cost of probate.
How Long Does Probate Take?
The length of time it takes to probate a will depends on numerous factors, including:
- Will contests
- Heir disputes
- Will validity
While probate generally takes less than a year, any of these situations may increase the time it takes to probate a will. To help avoid this delay in your heirs receiving the items you want them to receive, you need to ensure your will is drafted according to state law. This requires a keen eye of a skilled and trusted estate planning attorney.
Speak with a Trusted Estate Planning Attorney Today
What you need to avoid disaster is a trusted and keen eye. Speaking with an attorney will give you the guidance you need to ensure your loved ones don’t inherit a mess, but instead inherit items that bring fond memories of your cherished time together. This is done through attention to detail and strict adherence to state laws. If your will isn’t drafted according to specific state laws, your will could be invalidated, which means the court may end up deciding who gets what items, regardless of what you wanted. This situation can easily be avoided by speaking a trusted estate planning lawyer today.
Drafting a will is an important step to take and you shouldn’t try to handle it alone. You deserve the skilled and trusted advice of an estate planning attorney who can make sure your heirs receive the items you want them to receive to keep your memory alive.