Will Your Relatives and Non-Relatives Receive What You Intend?
One of the most important goals in estate planning is to make sure that your wishes will be known and carried out after you pass away. It is an invaluable resource for making sure that you have legally documented who should receive what, so there are fewer arguments and legal issues. Having a well-written, detailed, and up-to-date estate plan can prevent future conflict as well as give you the maximum amount of control over where you want your money and possessions to go. Too often, people think verbal agreements or handwritten wishes will be honored, or that their loved ones won’t disagree or argue over things. Unfortunately, this method leads to more hurt and legal expenses than the deceased person ever intended.
Estate Planning Is a Crucial Means of Communication
All families are unique. You may have had a casual conversation with your adult children or other relatives about what your wishes would be should you become incapacitated or about who should receive certain assets when you are gone. This type of conversation is a great start, but it is also important to have everything written down in a legal document.
Even if you are very close with your family and they want to carry out your wishes, there is a risk of misunderstanding. It is possible for your loved ones to have the best intentions and still fail to carry out your wishes simply because they have forgotten what you said or were not on the same page during the conversation. This is why it is best to work with an estate planning attorney to make sure that your wishes are very clear.
Estate Planning Keeps You in Control
Intestacy laws are inflexible – if you do not have a will when you pass away, you have no control over what will happen to your belongings. The law favors biological relatives in intestacy, starting with your children and spouse if you have them. Many people have a close friend, a charity, or even an acquaintance they would like to leave something to. Without a will or trust, this is not likely to happen.
Also, having a solid estate plan heads off any potential conflict among your loved ones. It is common for families to have conflict over what types of medical treatment an incapacitated loved one should receive, or over the belongings of a loved one who has passed away. Sometimes the conflict exists because no one is sure what their loved one’s wishes are. Other times disagreement over property arises because multiple people believe they are entitled to the property. Estate planning in advance stops this conflict from occurring. If your wishes are clearly expressed in a legal document, then there is no room for debate.
Call Us for Help With Your Estate Plan
Estate planning can reduce conflict and confusion regarding your financial and healthcare wishes. If you are ready to begin your estate planning or need to update your existing plan, contact an experienced Naperville estate planning attorney for help. Having a lawyer help you with your will, trust, or powers of attorney is the best way to make sure everything important to you and your loved ones is included, and that all your documents are legally enforceable. The Gierach Law Firm will help you find peace of mind knowing that all your estate planning documents are in order and your wishes will be carried out. Call 630-756-1160 to set up a confidential consultation to see how we can help you.
Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.