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Did You Remember to Include the BIG 3 in Your Estate Plan?

The Probate Law Center Feb. 22, 2022

You contacted an attorney, and met with them to establish your estate plan. You worked through all the hard questions, signed all the documents, and have informed your heirs where you have stored the documents; you're all set, right? WRONG! 

Your Will simply tells a Court what you would like to happen to your assets, it does not give anyone the authority to actually do anything with your assets. For that a Court Order is necessary.The three most common assets that are forgotten, or overlooked, in an estate plan is the home, the vehicles, and the bank accounts. While these can be addressed in a Will, the better option is to transform these potential probate assets into non-probate assets. 

The best way to do this is with beneficiary designations, or pay/transfer on death designations.  Think about it, how long have you had that account at your local bank, or how long have you lived in your home? Many of us open these accounts and purchase these assets when our children are young, or we haven't yet had children. Or maybe we planned for that first family home that was long outgrown years ago. 

In any event, there are simple steps that you can take to deal with these BIG 3 assets. If these assets are left to be dealt with in your Will, then your heirs still need to get a Court Order giving them authority to change the title of those assets to align with the wishes in your will.Taking the extra steps now will assure your heirs are not bogged down in the probate process handling assets that could have been dealt with while you are still alive. Contact us and let our professionals give you the peace of mind of know you final wishes will be followed.