Planning their estates is one of the most crucial steps any adult in Indiana can take for their loved ones. It may sound like a complicated process, but in actuality, estate planning is a great way for a person to simplify things for his or her loved ones after passing away. Leaving a properly planned estate is much easier on families than leaving it to the courts to figure out.
The hazards of DIY estate planning
There are plenty of DIY kits and forms to help people do simple estate planning. The most basic estate planning document that everyone knows is a will. Writing a will allows people to determine who will inherit their property and act as a guardian for any minor children they have. It’s very possible for someone to write his or her own will. But when nonprofessionals write wills, they often don’t plan for small hiccups.
For example, even if a testator writes a will that leaves everything to his or her spouse, that may not be sufficient. Beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement accounts are still legally binding contracts. They will supersede whatever is in a will. A good attorney will remind people to ensure their beneficiaries are correct during their annual open enrollment period.
Long-term benefits of estate planning
Estate planning with an attorney can be expensive up-front. However, spending money on the process now can offset expenses down the line. For example, if a will doesn’t address all aspects of an estate, a court may declare it invalid. When that happens, the court will determine how to distribute the estate. This means the family’s wishes may not be honored at all. Finding an estate planning lawyer is a great way to save time and money in the long run.