For years now, experts have been warning that most Americans do not have a will. Even though most of them say that a will is important when asked, they don't actually write one.
The idea of a will is to set in stone what happens to a person's estate after they pass away. However, that does not mean that the estate plan always stands. There are reasons that you may want to challenge a will, especially if you think that it is unfair, unjust or a violation of your rights.
Many people are the victims of inheritance theft without ever realizing it. It can take many forms. Often, it's not as overt as, for example, a trustee stealing money from a trust that was intended for a beneficiary or a family member pilfering an antique vase that was bequeathed to another relative.
One reason for disputes during the probate process is that one sibling gets selected as the executor for the estate, but then the other siblings feel like their actions during the process are not fair or not in keeping with their parent's wishes. In some cases, they may even feel that the executor is acting illegally to benefit themselves.
When doing your estate planning, remember that you have to update that plan periodically. Common times for an update include when you get married, when you get divorced, when you have a child or when someone named in your will passes away.
Often, the reason that people put off estate planning is simply that they do not feel like they need to do it yet. There's no sense of urgency. They don't want to think about dying, they assume they have years or decades anyway, and so they don't make a will or set up an estate plan. They know they'll need to eventually, but they think of it as something they'll do another day.
When a person passes away with or without a will, it won't be long before their estate goes through the probate process. While this is common, it doesn't mean that it always goes smoothly.
When creating an estate plan, it's important to understand the steps your family will face after your death. More specifically, the probate process.
If you have started thinking about estate planning, you are already taking positive steps to protecting your family’s future after you are gone. Estate planning will help ensure your family is provided for if something should happen to you.