The death of a loved one is almost always a difficult time for a family. Oftentimes, family members would rather dedicate their time and energy toward grieving and supporting each other through a trying time than dedicating that same time and energy toward legal matters.
Individuals who take the time to establish an estate plan often have numerous objectives and goals in mind. For many people, avoiding probate is among these goals. Probate is a notoriously complex and time- consuming process that can tie up related assets and property for months or, in some cases, even years. Additionally assets that pass through probate also become part of a public legal record and can therefore be accessed and viewed by anyone.
Delaware residents might benefit from understanding more about some of the fundamental steps involved in sound estate planning. Developing an estate plan allows individuals to allocate how their assets will be distributed in the event of their death. For many people, this an effective way to ensure that surviving relatives, or beneficiaries, are entitled to receive their share of the decedent's estate. Without an estate plan, control over distributing the assets may be designated to a friend, relative or probate court.
Individuals in Delaware who are planning for the distribution of their assets after death may find it helpful to look to some recent celebrity estate planning errors. Making the appropriate arrangements based on the value of assets, communicating with family members and regularly updating the estate plan are all important.
Delaware residents who have lost the hard drive on their computer are familiar with the sinking feeling that accompanies such an experience. Questions suddenly arise about how thorough users were in their contingency planning. In a similar fashion, persons wanting to make sure they leave an organized set of financial affairs with their intended beneficiaries will need to back up their efforts with a completed and fully documented estate plan.
After the wedding, one of the most important things for a newlywed couple to do is to update their estate plans. Some updates are simple, such as changing the beneficiary designations on bank accounts, insurance policies and retirement savings accounts but others are more complex and may require the help of an experienced attorney.