Probate costs can far exceed the cost of personally crafted estate plan.

Everyone’s situation is different, and therefore, everyone has a different need for an estate plan. An estate plan is personalized and created custom to fit your needs. You could say that getting a skillfully drafted estate plan is one of the best investments that you will ever make! Not only will you be benefitted but also your family and beneficiaries. Without a properly constructed estate plan, after you pass away, your family will have to go to probate court to straighten out how everything will be distributed. This can take a toll on loved ones both emotionally and financially.

What documents are typically most important?

There are 3 documents that are essential to an estate plan. The first is a medical/healthcare power of attorney, this will allow you to choose who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. You may also have your wishes laid out in a living will document, then you will appoint someone to carry out those wishes if you’re unable to.

A financial power of attorney document will allow you to give someone control over your finances if you become incapacitated. They will then be able to pay bills, transfer money, and manage all your financial affairs on your behalf.

Lastly, a last will and testament document is very important once you pass away. Your will is going to lay out what your wishes are for your estate. For example, you will decide who will be responsible for making sure these wishes are met, and whom will inherit from your estate. You can choose to split everything evenly among your children or give a little extra to your oldest daughter because she helped to take care of you in the end.

What happens if I don’t have these documents?

If you are unable to make decisions or handle your affairs, and do not have a medical or financial power of attorney, your loved ones will have to go to probate court. There a judge will appoint a guardian to handle your affairs and to make decisions for you. A hearing to appoint a guardian can be costly, a lawyer will need to be hired for the incapacitated person and the proposed guardian. In contested situations, you might have to get the opinion of doctors to testify that the person is incapacitated, and those doctors will need to be paid as well.

If you do not have a will when you pass away, then your estate will be settled pursuant to state statute rather than according to your wishes. A judge will then be responsible for appointing someone to manage the estate and for deciding what will happen to your assets!

Why put your loved ones through court proceedings if you don’t have to? The cost of not having an estate plan could easily become more than the cost of having one created for you.

The Probate Pro can create a customized estate plan that will serve your needs. Let us help you to avoid costly court proceedings! We have highly experienced staff that are ready to assist you! Give us a call today or email.

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