Losing your mother was hard, so it wasn't easy to sort through her personal papers and other items -- but you knew it was a necessary task. For one thing, you needed to find her will.
When a family member dies, your grief can be compounded by shock and outrage if the will doesn't match up with your expectations.
Trusts are designed to pass wealth from one generation to the next in a smooth, organized way. Trustees have a pretty big job -- and they're expected to do their best to comply with the expectations placed upon them.
When you're the trustee of someone's estate, you have to take reasonable steps to identify and locate that person's heirs. In today's world of highly mobile people, that's not always easy -- but not doing so can create massive headaches. An inadequate search can even leave you exposed to legal liabilities down the line if the heir suddenly resurfaces after an estate has been settled.
Wills and trusts can be complicated legal matters, and they often come out of complicated emotional thinking related to the legacy that someone wants to leave behind when they die. The issues can be more intricate when people are leaving large assets of various types to inheritors, and smart estate planners make sure their interests are protected.
There are a lot of reasons that people may move as they age. Sometimes, another climate seems like a good move, and sometimes, it makes sense to be closer to family and friends. Connecticut and some other states, however, have a few added benefits.
The last thing that someone wants to do as their last act is create an argument in their family. But disputes over inheritance are all too common, and it does not take much of a misunderstanding to spiral out of control and ruin vital relationships. Probate courts can help sort out disagreements, but the process does not have to be adversarial.
You always have the option of leaving your possessions and money to anyone you want. But this process can be more complicated than people expect. Assets may be taxed, especially if they are left to people beyond the immediate family. Disputes may even arise between possible benefactors. How can you avoid these problems? Planning is the best option.
Life is full of amazing adventures and rewarding relationships, but the one certainty is it will come to an end. This eventuality makes it difficult to think about what to do with the collections of a well-lived life, but estate planning is often best done early in life and updated often.
Children find out that a will says something other than what they expected. Taxes or liens take a big bite out of the value of the estate. These are only some of the disadvantages of lacking a clear estate plan, which may send all the possible beneficiaries to probate court.