Estate planning services can help you to keep your estate out of probate after you have passed. When your estate passes through probate, the courts get involved, and it can become expensive, complicated and your wishes may not always be honored. As such, the right steps should be taken to help keep your estate out probate to ensure your family gets as much money as possible and to ensure your wishes are honored. Here are three ways that an estate planning service can help to keep your estate out of probate:
Designating a Personal Representative
If you have not designated a personal representative who can carry out the wishes as stated in your will, the estate will end up probate. Estate planning services can help you avoid this by designating not one but two valid representatives who can help. This helps to ensure that is one of your representatives passes away or is unable to fulfill their responsibilities, there is a back-up. If you are well and know one of your representatives cannot carry out their duties, you should have your will modified, so you always have two active personal representatives.
Account for All of Your Personal Assets
Another way to keep your estate out of probate is to account for all of your personal assets. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is leaving an asset, such as fine artwork, jewelry, or even real estate, out of the will. If this is the case, someone may state that you left that item specifically to them and a fight can ensue. If anyone legally contests the will or asks for assets not specified in the will, your estate can end up in probate court.
The last tip to keep your estate out of probate is to always designate beneficiaries, so there is no dispute as to who gets what. If you are excluding someone from your will who would typically be included, such as a child, it is also important to explain that you are specifically precluding them and it is not an oversight or mistake. An estate planning service can help you to legally include or exclude beneficiaries.
Having a legally binding will that can be carried out by a personal representative is key to keeping your estate out of costly probate. If you do not have a will or need to update yours, contact an estate planning service for assistance today.