When it comes to creating estate plans, many people in the Fayetteville area put it off until the last minute and do not take measures to preserve their privacy. Some individuals die before they create them. According to the AARP, out of every 10 people, at least six of them do not have estate plans. Estate planning is important for anyone who has property, money and other possessions they want to leave behind to their loved ones.
The law decides what happens to a person's property when they die without estate plans. Disputes, which are often time-consuming, expensive and damaging to the relationship between remaining family members are likely to arise. Anyone who has yet to plan for their estate or update their estate plans should consider protecting their privacy.
Not preserving privacy
It is not uncommon for people to make their wills and assume they do not need any other type of estate plans. Wills enable testators to instruct the courts and surviving family members on how to distribute their estates. However, they do not keep the details of the estates and beneficiaries' private. Wills must pass through probate court and become public record. That means creditors, ex-spouses and anyone who believes they have a legal claim to an estate can dispute the will. Creditors can file to receive payment on debts before beneficiaries receive their inheritances.
Revocable trusts are an estate planning tool that allows a testator to keep all information about their assets private and prevent them from passing through probate court. When creating trusts, it is important to fund them immediately. If the trusts are created and not properly funded, probate court will intervene and oversee asset distribution.
It might not seem like a big deal if the contents of an estate become public knowledge. However, beneficiaries must deal with the consequences. Anyone who does not want their loved ones to lose their inheritances might benefit from speaking to an attorney to learn how to use their estate plans to preserve their privacy and legacy.