Devine Millimet | NH Law Firm

Nobody wants to think about death

For many people estate planning seems like a confusing, complicated and uneasy topic, better to avoid for a later date.  Nobody wants to think about death.  At the same time most people have had some direct experience with, or know someone who has had a family member die without a proper estate plan.  This can potentially cause unnecessary stresses on children and loved ones, drawn out court proceedings, division and fighting among family members, and the waste of assets a lifetime earned.   A few hours spent planning with an estate planning attorney can help to avoid all of this and put you in control of what happens to your assets after death.
 
For many people their view of how estate planning works is shaped by movies and television.  Someone dies, everyone gathers and reads their Will, and their assets and belongings are distributed accordingly.  This does not quite match reality. 
 
If one were to die without even a Will, then the individual state’s intestacy laws directs what happens to their assets, which is not always consistent with what one would actually choose to happen.  If one were to die having prepared and executed only a Will, they have ensured that their estate will be subject to probate.  This means a lengthy, public, and potentially expensive court process, in which the court oversees the distribution of estate assets.
The probate process can be effectively avoided with a properly drafted and funded Revocable Trust.  A Revocable Trust allows you to specifically designate and control how your assets are to be distributed after your death.  The Revocable Trust will allow for your assets to be distributed after your death in accordance with your specific wishes and without unnecessary costs or delay.  This can save your family years of court proceedings, fees, expenses and stress.  You can allocate specific gifts to friends, family members or charities, divide your assets evenly among your children, direct who is to inherit, and what is to happen to, your assets, and create trusts for younger children and grandchildren to be administered by a trusted family member or professional Trustee, so that younger beneficiaries are still financially supported but don’t receive a large chunk of money outright before they are ready.
 
By taking the time now to speak with an estate planning attorney and to put a proper estate plan in place, you can control what happens to your hard earned property and save your family from the stresses and expenses of the probate process.
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