One of the most important parts of drafting any will involves identifying which family members or friends receive certain items. This can include leaving a home to a spouse or funds to children, for example. A common misconception in estate planning, however, involves the belief that one’s efforts are complete once a will has been drafted. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the estate planning process can extend long after a person passes.
Continue reading to learn how to correctly prepare a will to avoid having your family deal with any legal hurdles that often come up during the probate process.
Know About the Probate Process
The probate process consists of:
- A judge validating the will.
- An “executor” collecting and distributing the deceased’s possessions. This can also include paying off any debts.
- A judge scheduling a hearing where the friends and family of the deceased can dispute a will if a petition has been filed.
Ensure That Your Will Meets Certain Criteria
A probate court will also determine if a will is valid by how it was written. During the probate process, loved ones will be unable to inherit any possessions unless a will meets one of the following criteria:
- If drafting a holographic will, the document must only be written by the deceased.
- If drafting an attested will, ensure that it is typewritten instead of handwritten.
- If drafting an oral will, it must only be done so if the person is unable to create it by other means.
Make Your Will as Detailed as Possible
Although one may create an estate plan using a certain type of will that meets their needs, if it isn’t drafted in a clear or detailed manner, then the deceased’s loved ones may not qualify for any inheritances. Consider the following:
- Determine if any belongings are probate assets, such as jewelry or cars.
- List how many creditors still require repayment so that an executor can report this information during the probate process.
Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers in McAllen Today!
In an ideal situation, the probate process would go by smoothly without disputes. However, disagreements and disputes come up during this process each day, making it difficult for family and friends to reach the peace of mind they need. Avoid running into these hurdles by contacting our lawyers in McAllen.