Why Estate Planning is Important
Who do you want to inherit your home and possessions? Who do you want to take care of your children until they grow up? How do you stop government taxes from eating up the savings you intended for your family?
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably not seriously considered these questions. Estate planning isn’t just for the rich. Anyone who owns a home or has some savings put away should look into it. Consider what will happen if you don’t. You’ve probably heard of families torn apart fighting over inheritance. And if you die before all your children turn 18, the courts decide who becomes their legal guardian.
What is Probate?
Probate has to do with the execution of the will. When a person dies, a court reviews the will for authenticity and contacts the executor. The executor is the person named in the will to carry out the deceased’s instructions. If there is no will or the will is deemed invalid by the court, the court appoints an executor and the property and assets of the deceased person are distributed according to state law. Normally, that means a legal spouse or surviving children receive the inheritance, but the state seizes the property of a person without any living relatives.