There are few words that elicit true horror like the words “probate litigation.” We understand. You worked hard for the life that you built, and you just want to make sure your loved ones are protected. There are ways to reduce the stress of probate and avoid litigation, so that your final wishes go off without a hitch.
Review and update your estate plan on a regular basis
An excellent way to avoid probate litigation years from now is to review and update your estate plan on a regular basis. You can express your intentions and avoid probate litigation by reviewing the estate plan, what is listed in it, the changes in the law, and the changes in your life. Major life changes that should trigger a review and revision of your estate plan include the following:
- Birth of a child
- Birth of a grandchild
- Acquisition of property
It is in your best interest to use the same estate planning attorney each time you need to make updates to your estate plan and subsequent documents.
Have honest conversations with your family about what you want
As you create or update your estate plan, it is important to have open and honest conversations with your family. Doing so will be challenging but can clear up any misconceptions that could lead to family arguments following your passing.
This is especially important if a member of your family is being left out of your will, or you need to inform the person you are naming as a power of attorney about their assignment. It is best to avoid telling one descendent one thing and another descendent something else. This will only lead to hurt feelings, tears, and arguments after your death.
Avoid do-it-yourself estate planning software
While it might seem convenient and affordable right now to use online software to build an estate plan, you should avoid this at all costs. There’s no telling what types of mistakes you might make, what you might forget to include, and who you might forget to name in your estate plan when creating it yourself online.
An experienced Maryville estate planning and probate attorney from Shepherd & Long, P.C., will be able to explain the process, knows changes in the law, and will review the documents with you thoroughly before you sign them. This ensures that there are no mistakes, no one is left out, and you have the proper powers of attorney in place for the future.
Do you need to create an estate plan? Do you need to have your estate plan reviewed? If so, now is the time to secure your future and protect your assets. Call the office of Shepherd & Long, P.C., at 865-982-8060 or complete a contact form on our website to schedule an appointment with a member of our Maryville estate planning and probate team in East Tennessee.