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Answering A Few Probate Questions

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The death of a loved one can be a terrible thing for a person to have to go through. A particularly unpleasant aspect of this experience can be having to oversee the distribution of the loved one's assets. If you are wanting to help your survivors avoid this aspect of your death, you may benefit from learning the following answers to some common questions.

Isn't Having A Will Sufficient Planning?

There is a common belief among some people that having a will is all the planning that they will need to do. While having a regularly updated will can help to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, you should be aware that it will potentially involve lengthy court proceedings and wills can be contested. This stems from the fact that the courts will need to confirm your death as well as needing to process and verify your will. Additionally, it may be possible for individuals to contest what is in your will through lawsuits.

Is It Possible To Avoid The Limitations Of Wills?

Fortunately, you may be able to avoid this problem by having a living trust created. Under this type of arrangement, your assets are placed in the control of a trust. This is a separate legal entity that you can control while you are alive, and at your death, its assets will be distributed according to a succession plan that you create. While this may sound extremely complicated, you should be relieved to learn that a probate attorney can help you with establishing and managing this type of trust.

Will Your Loved One's Be Responsible For Taxes?

Taxes can be something that many people overlook when it comes to inheritances. However, there are many states where your loved ones will be responsible for paying taxes on the assets that you leave them. Not surprisingly, this can be a rather stressful situation for your loved one's to experience. Luckily, a probate attorney can help you to take actions to minimize the taxes that your loved ones will have to pay. This can be done by taking advantage of benefits that are not taxable to offset the ones that are taxed. For example, life insurance benefits are typically untaxed, and your attorney will help you to determine how large of a policy to purchase to help prevent your loved ones from having to pay for these taxes out of their own pockets.