Protecting Loved Ones From Probate Problems

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Protecting those you love may be something you are already doing on a day to day basis. However, like many, you might not be too happy thinking about what will happen once you die. If you want to keep protecting and caring for people after you are gone, you'll have to take some of the following steps to lower the chances that they will end up dealing with probate issues for years.

Remember to Change Retirement Beneficiary

Like most working people, you probably expect that when you retire, you'll get all those benefits. While you might have named your husband or wife as another beneficiary, you are unlikely to think you won't live to see those payouts.

To protect your spouse and others, you might consider a better idea. With many retirement accounts, you can simply select "pay on death" option that names a person that will automatically get the funds there. That way, the money will be sent right away instead of languishing in an account while loved ones quarrel and fight about who should receive it in probate court.

Use Joint Ownership

One of the many problems that usually play themselves out in probate court is the issue of company inheritance. If you've got a thriving, growing business, it's not unreasonable that many loved ones would want you to pass the company on to them. If you don't, they might try to prove in probate court that they deserve it. To keep your business out of court once you're not longer around, it's wise to have a joint ownership agreement drawn up now.

This sort of agreement is also useful if you're currently in a business partnership and don't want them to absorb all your rights and shares. Be sure to set up an ownership agreement with the loved one you deem qualified to take on your portion of the business.

Talk to Them

Perhaps the best thing you can be doing now to protect all of your loved ones is to sit down and talk with them. Tell them where your insurance documents and will are. Tell them who you plan to name as executor or beneficiary and why. Explain why certain assets are going to certain people and not them. This may lead to uncomfortable questions and heated arguments, but if everyone feels that they understand the choices you've made, they may not battle each other in probate court once you've passed away. They won't be able to claim to know what you really wanted if you make it clear what your desires are.

With these ideas, you can protect all the people who might be affected by your estate planning. Visit the offices of local probate administration experts who can offer professional guidance that will aid your loved ones. You can also visit websites like