Some people mistakenly think that not having a last will and testament allows their assets to bypass the time and expense of probate.
That’s not true. If you die without a will, your property still must go through probate, says Fed Week’s recent article, “The Importance of Having a Will.”
If probate avoidance is a concern, you can create a trust. With a revocable trust, you can keep control over the trust assets while you’re alive. Assets placed in trust during your lifetime can be distributed at your death, under the terms of the trust, without going through probate.
However, creating a trust isn’t easy. Therefore, ask an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney for assistance.
After you draft a will, don’t forget about it.
That’s because births, deaths, marriages or divorces may happen. Such an event raises the need to revisit your “last wishes.”
After such a change, ensure that your current will is safe and accessible. One strategy is to leave your will with your executor.
If you decide to keep your will somewhere else, your executor and other loved ones should know where it is. The attorney who prepared your will should have a copy and a memo stating the location of the original.
You should also draft another document for your funeral and burial instructions.
Wills typically aren’t read until days or weeks after death. That won’t help your family make prompt decisions about a funeral or a memorial service.
As a result, a separate letter should be used to specify your final wishes. Your executor should know where these instructions can be located.
Wills, trusts, and estate planning for everyone. To book a call in Anchorage, Alaska, please contact Mitch Wyatt at https://mkwyatt.com or call 907-277-0300.