Depending on the nature of your assets and the specific objectives that you have, it may be necessary to utilize any number of financial instruments to actualize your estate plan. This is one of the many reasons why it is a good idea to retain the services of one of our Mount Clemens estate planning attorneys. This having been stated, there are some rather basic estate planning tools that can be effectively inculcated into your plan. After all, at its root estate planning is a simple matter: you want to get assets that once belonged to you into the hands of your loved ones. The trick is to do it without losing anything in the process.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at life insurance. Life insurance is the quintessential estate planning tool and most people are initially exposed to it when they get their first job that offers benefits. Life insurance is a necessary income replacement vehicle, and as your family grows and your financial responsibilities increase, you must review your coverage to be sure that you make the necessary adjustments. Life insurance can also be useful in small business succession planning and as a way to balance inheritances, and you would want to contact your estate planning attorney to learn more about how life insurance is used for these purposes.
Another direct way to transfer assets to your loved ones after you pass away is with pay on death or transfer on death accounts. Most banks and many brokerages offer these accounts, and the way that it works is that you simply name a beneficiary after funding the account. You have complete control of the assets in the account while you’re alive, and of course, you can make deposits and withdrawals as you see fit. When you pass away, the beneficiary assumes ownership of the funds in the account, and this transfer of assets takes place in a timely manner outside of the sometimes costly and inefficient process of probate.
Imagine a scenario where someone close to you passes away. You are expecting a significant inheritance, and you feel as though you deserve one.
All of a sudden, you are presented with a stunning revelation: You have been disinherited, or what you will be receiving is significantly less than what you were expecting. You may feel as though you must take action because you have been treated unfairly.
In truth, the belief that you have been treated unfairly is not going to be adequate grounds for a successful will challenge. Each of us has the right to leave our assets to anyone that we choose, in any quantity that we choose, and we can leave out anyone that we choose to omit.
There are however some acceptable grounds for challenging a will. One of them is undue coercion. If you were to feel as though you have been left out because the individual who passed away was coerced or somehow forced to make the decisions that he or she did, you could have a case.
A last will must have been executed while the testator was of sound mind. Incapacity can be the foundation for a legitimate will contest. Another foundation for a challenge that is legally supportable is that of fraud. If the testator was somehow tricked or deceived into signing a last will, it could be invalidated by the probate court.
And finally, a last will must be properly executed. Improper execution can result in a successful challenge, and this is something to keep in mind if you are considering using a do-it-yourself last will download or a worksheet that you purchase on the Internet.
Download Our Free Estate Planning Worksheet
Our Mount Clemens estate planning attorneys have developed a very useful worksheet that we are offering free of charge at the present time. You can learn a great deal about the subject and get a feel for where you stand if you take the time to utilize this valuable resource. To obtain your copy of the free estate planning worksheet, simply click this link and follow the simple instructions.
Schedule a Consultation!
We are here to help if you would like to discuss your estate planning objectives with one of our licensed Mount Clemens estate planning attorneys. To schedule a no obligation consultation, give us a call at 586-493-7661.