Business Succession, Disability Insurance, Estate Planning, Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney, Probate, Real Estate, Trusts, Will Contests, Wills

What Do Ostriches & Estate Planning Have In Common?

Fun fact: ostriches actually do not stick their heads in the sand.

I know, I’m just as disappointed as you are, but a lot of people think they do.

I’m ruining your perception of Australian wildlife because I myself have been telling people that avoiding estate planning is like sticking your head in the sand: you’re avoiding the inevitable fact that we will all pass one day, and you’re more than likely going to have to go through probate.

I have seen many people say that they do not need a will at all. I mean, after all, they don’t have that much stuff! If they pass, it will be easy to give a couple of bank accounts and some cars to their siblings or children…

Right?

Wrong.

Probate is usually mandatory if you’re going to access the deceased’s assets that are held by, or pay the debts owed to, another third party (mortgage on a house, credit cards, bank accounts, stock accounts, etc.).

And, worse yet, if you do not have a will at all, you are most likely going to have to go before a judge and determine who is in charge to split up your stuff. THEN you go through normal probate to give your stuff to everyone you love (generally speaking).

In other words, there are several scenarios of estate planning situations you could be in:

Worst case scenario: no will. You’ll have a lengthy and expensive probate that is much longer and much more expensive than normal probate. Doesn’t matter if you have $1 or $1,000,000 to your name.

Good scenario: You have just a will. You’ll most likely have a moderately expensive probate that will take a good amount of time to complete. It’s not the worst, but it’s not the best.

Better scenario: You have a will AND you updated your beneficiary designations to reflect the will. Probate will be faster, and you’ll probably save some money (FYI, attorneys like myself can help you update beneficiary designations as well!)

Best scenario: You avoid probate entirely through a revocable living trust into which you transferred your assets during your lifetime. No time wasted, and not a penny goes to a single attorney (it’s a sad day for attorneys like me!).

Moral of the story? Actually BE like an ostrich, and don’t stick your head in the sand! Get your estate plan done by a professional, like Legion Law, in order to address all these concerns. Our estate plans are cost-effective, comprehensive, and are designed to stand the tests of time.

It wouldn’t be the Legion Law Letter without offering information on how to get in touch with your estate planning and probate attorney. Feel free to schedule a meeting at legionlawpllc.com/contact-us/ for any questions, concerns, or issues you need resolved.

Cheers,


Derek Christensen

Founder of Legion Law, PLLC