Common Misconceptions About Wills: How An Estate Administration Attorney Can Help
If you have an estate which you can divide among your heirs, you might think that having a will is all it takes to set things in order before you pass away. This is a common misconception because any number of things could go wrong before the final moments of your life. There are other misconceptions about wills and estates, all which an estate administration attorney can explain to you in full. If you have not met with an attorney yet, the more accurate truths about end-of-life arrangements are here.
You Can Only Change Your Will Once or Twice
Not true. You can change your will as often as you change your thoughts, moods or whims. You might not want to do so because several changes to your will means more money for your attorney than for your heirs. It is better to change your will only when you feel it is absolutely necessary. For example, you have three children. One dies in a car accident or dies because of an unexpected health issue. That is a suitable reason and time to call your lawyer and change the distribution of you property such that your two remaining heirs receive the missing heir's portion or you donate that portion of your estate to a charitable cause.
You Cannot Leave Your Property to Strangers
Also untrue. The more eccentric types are known for leaving all of their money and home to their pets or giving it entirely to charity despite the fact that they have heirs. It is your estate and you can leave it to whomever you like, including your domestic staff or your lawyer. Your heirs may not like how you choose to distribute your wealth and home, but it is still your choice and you have legal authority over it. Your children may contest it, but your estate administration lawyer will uphold it as long as your were of sound mind and body when your will was created and signed.
Your Heirs Get Their Inheritance the Day After Your Funeral and Burial
Thanks to Hollywood and TV, it is an automatic assumption for years that your heirs get their inheritance and hear the reading of the will as soon as your body is in the ground. That happens virtually never. Wills almost always have to go through probate first, and if anyone contests the will, the process to receive an inheritance is much longer. The more people that enter into a legal argument about your will, the more your lawyer will have to prove, on your post-mortem behalf, that the will is valid.
A Good Time to Hire an Estate Attorney
As soon as you have anything of value to leave your heirs, you should seek out an estate attorney's help. Even if you have written out a plan of action to distribute your possessions and signed a copy with a pen, you will need legal assistance to enforce the will and make it completely legal in the eyes of the court. Your attorney can protect your estate and your interests long after you have gone.