If there is one good thing to take away from end of life planning, it is that you can make life easier for your loved ones. With the help of an inheritance lawyer, you can put a plan in place that not only makes probate less difficult but also less expensive for your estate’s beneficiaries.
In your estate plan, all of your assets must be accounted for—aside from your house, cars, real property, and bank accounts, you must also state what you want to happen to your personal property, digital assets like social media accounts and email accounts, and retirement accounts.
Avoiding the following simple estate planning mistakes could make the probate process much more bearable for your loved ones.
Not Having a Will
Having a will might seem like a no-brainer, but then again, the numbers suggest otherwise—according to a study conducted by caring.com and YouGov, the percentage of adults in the United States who have a will has steadily declined since 2017. As of 2020, only a third have a will or similar documents in place.
Many people assume that the reason for this decline is that Millennials are getting older and are not thinking about estate planning. However, the study shows that the age group with the largest decrease was 35-54, which cuts across the Millennial and Generation X groups.
If you do not have a will yet, speak to an inheritance lawyer as soon as possible. The process is easier than you might think.
Neglecting to Keep Certain Assets out of Probate
The best way to make probate easier for your loved ones is to help them avoid it altogether. In Florida, estate planners have many options to avoid probate for some or all of their assets. For instance, setting up a living trust can help you keep your real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and other assets out of probate. The process can be complicated, and a living trust might not be the best option for your situation, so talk to an inheritance lawyer before making any decisions.
Other strategies that can help your assets avoid probate include joint ownership, payable-on-death designations for bank accounts, transfer-on-death registration for assets like stocks and bonds, transfer-on-death deeds for real estate, and transfer-on-death registration for vehicles. While going through the estate planning process, you may discover a way to pass on your assets without the need for probate at all, so the sooner you start planning, the better off your loved ones will be.
Talk to an Inheritance Lawyer Today to Help Your Family When You Are Gone
You might think that your estate is too small to worry about estate planning, but even small estates can rack up big probate and legal fees if no planning is done. Are you ready to start the estate planning process so that your loved ones don’t have to deal with probate when you are gone? Get in touch with us today.