Ensuring that your estate is handled correctly after you’re gone requires a comprehensive estate plan. Estate plans provide instructions on how you’d like your assets to be distributed, but they can also help you reduce taxes and protect your family members.
While you can make your own estate plan, having an attorney’s assistance is highly recommended. Our estate planning team at Walk-In Wills.com is here to assist you in making a solid, dependable estate plan that provides you and heirs the maximum benefits.
We work with all types of clients, from people with modest estates to those with more complicated situations, like Medicaid planning. We even help with will contests, which is when a member of your family disputes the validity of your will.
What Is Probate?
Most wills go through probate, and if there are no issues the process can proceed quickly. If there are issues, such as a family member contesting some aspect of the will or claiming the will was created fraudulently, the probate process will drag on much longer.
Even under ideal circumstances, probate involves many complex steps. These include:
- Proving a will’s validity. For a will to be valid, it must be committed to writing, it must be signed and dated by the will creator, and its signing must have been witnessed by two people.
- Locating personal property. Location of property is usually straightforward, but when a person owns homes in other states it can be more challenging. There may also be issues if property isn’t extensively documented in estate planning documents.
- Appraising the property. Along with homes and vehicles, personal effects must also be accurately valued. This includes artwork, jewelry, collectibles, and other items.
- Paying off debts. Debt doesn’t go away after you die. The proceeds from your estate will be used to pay off any outstanding debts or taxes you owe. The assets that are left over then go to your heirs in the manner you established. This illustrates the importance of structuring your estate plan correctly.
- Distributing property to heirs. Only when the above steps have been taken can your heirs receive your property according to your wishes.
What Steps Can I Take to Mitigate the Probate Process?
Working with a skilled probate attorney can help you avoid many of the snags of this process. Our team at Walk-In Wills.com has extensive experience with will creation, and we can also create an estate plan that seamlessly navigates probate to ensure your family receives the proceeds of your estate as quickly as possible.