Making a plan for end of life is hard, but necessary. Retaining an attorney is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out. There are plenty of things to bear in mind.
First, never assume your estate is not valuable enough. The costs of hiring a lawyer are worth it, compared to the potential problems imposed on your heirs if planning was conducted improperly.
Second, keep your will current. A will should be updated to reflect marriages, divorces, remarriages, the birth or death of family members, or the acquisition of new property like a house.
Third, think carefully about who to appoint as Executor or Trustee. This should be someone you trust and is available and qualified. Just as important are decisions about who is to be Guardian of minor children. Estate administration can be an emotional process, and your loved ones may fight over “their share.” Your Executor or Trustee needs to be prepared.
Finally, be wary of marketers trying to sell you a living trust. This can be helpful for some families, but not all, and some promoters just want your money. Your probate attorney is the best resource for determining if a trust is right for you.
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