Step 1: Don’t.
When it comes to determining how your hard-earned assets and property will be divided upon your death, don’t leave it to chance. (For the record, attempting to do your own estate planning without qualified legal assistance is as good as leaving it to chance.) Doing your own legal paperwork regarding inheritances, assets, etc. may do more harm than good when your loved ones are left to figure it out.
It can also create a contentious melee among surviving family members if your instructions are not clear and your legal documents are riddled with errors and omissions. When family members are pitted against one another, it can harm important relationships and create an unsteady or hostile environment for any children you leave behind.
Contrary to popular belief, your worldly possessions aren’t automatically bequeathed to your spouse and adult children if you pass away without a last will and testament. State laws exist to provide a frame of reference in such cases and courts attempt to be fair, but it is highly unlikely that a court will divide your property and assets the way you would. Family conflict and undesirable division of assets are avoidable if you get professional legal help in creating an estate plan.
Step 2: Get a professional involved.
We know what you’re thinking: “But lawyers are expensive!”
True, you may be able to purchase the legal paperwork online at an affordable rate. The mistakes you might make by completing it without an attorney, however, could cost your family more in the long run than it could save you in the short run. Think of the attorney’s fees as an investment in the future wellbeing of your spouse and children who will be responsible for ensuring the fulfillment of your final wishes. In the event of your unexpected death, those you leave behind will rely on the clarity, accuracy, and detail you put forth in your estate plans (and they will thank you for it). This also ensures the finances and assets you leave behind are not depleted in legal battles and court proceedings, should your family members disagree on the terms of your will.
Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers in Phoenix
If you are creating an estate plan on your own, it may be time to get an estate planning attorney on your side. At Taylor & Lihn, PLLC, we know what it takes to craft an estate plan that will be clear, efficient, and minimize conflict among your family members after you pass away.
Let us help. Call (602) 900-9860 or contact us online for a free consultation today.