Daisy Maxey of Barron’s put together a piece on how COVID-19 has forced people to set their estate plans. Indeed, a virus with no cure and no vaccine is something we should all be careful about. Times like these, however, shouldn’t be the only reason that you rush to prepare your estate plan. The fact of the matter is that any and every situation should call for people to seriously consider and take action on their estate plan.
It’s not often that we get news like this. However, it’s our job to inform you that now is the most optimal time to put together your estate plan, in order to assure yourself and your family that your assets are going to the right place. Let’s assume that in the State of Michigan, someone dies without an estate plan. By not having an estate plan with a funded trust or a will, the State has no choice but to follow state statutes, known as the laws of intestacy, to distribute your assets.
These laws of intestacy dictate how the Court is to distribute your assets. Each State distributes the assets in a different manner, so be sure to know your state’s laws of intestacy are. So if you don’t have an estate plan, the probate court has no other option than to distribute the assets according to law.
With a carefully crafted estate plan, however, you can control the distribution of your assets. A will provides the court guidance on how probate assets are to be distributed and whom they are to be distributed to. A properly funded trust, meanwhile, can avoid probate altogether and quickly direct your assets to your desired beneficiaries. A properly funded trust can also be a great tool for protecting the assets of minors.
It doesn’t just need to be now (during the COVID-19 outbreak) that you plan for your estate. It’s at all times, because unfortunately we don’t know what our future holds. We can, however, make sure that the future is secure for you and your family. If you want to start planning an estate plan, give The Probate Pro a call today at (833) PROBATE.