When you pass away, the last thing you want your family members doing is fighting over your assets. Disputes over inheritance can be bitter and leave family members feeling more like enemies.
Fortunately, proper planning can help avoid these types of conflicts. These tips can help save your family members a lot of headaches in the long run.
1. Draft a valid, legal will
Passing away without a legal will is one of the best ways to ensure a conflict over your assets. According to FindLaw, dying without a will means that the state will determine who receives your assets. Ultimately, you will have no say in who gets what, and neither will your family.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that the will is valid so that it will hold up in court.
2. Utilize a durable power of attorney
If you become incapacitated or your mental process deteriorates, you may wish to designate someone who can make financial decisions for you. With a durable power of attorney, you can appoint someone who will make those decisions for you, if need be. This can include everything from paying your bills to managing your estate.
3. Bypass probate whenever possible
Probate is the legal process of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries when you pass away. Although having a will can help the process go more smoothly, avoiding probate is preferable because it can be costly and time-consuming.
There are several options available to avoid probate so assets can pass directly to your heirs. This includes establishing certain trusts, jointly owning accounts or even gifting assets before you pass away.