Things like estate planning or drafting a will are an important investment for the future. This may shape your family’s finances for years to come, and some documents such as trusts can start paying out money or distributing property immediately. 

Experts in investing recommend that certain steps be taken to avoid common inheritance problems such as sibling disputes or lengthy probate court battles. 

Planning ahead to protect your family and avoid arguments later

Many of the common arguments and family rifts that develop over assets and property distribution can be avoided through estate planning, and drafting a will or trust. Shortly afterward, it helps to speak with family members as well and explain the process. It is also important to appoint a neutral person who has no interest in property and other assets to be an executor when necessary, as they can make decisions without any kind of personal or emotional attachment. 

A will is the most common way for a person to decide which children and other family members receive important possessions, property, and any money that may be left behind. Through a will, certain family members, including non-minor children, may not receive anything at all if that is what the person who drafted the document wants. 

A trust can accomplish similar goals to a will by distributing money and property. However, certain types of trusts can begin to send out money and assets at any time interval, including while the person who set up the trust is still alive. Trusts are much more flexible than wills, but they are also governed by a complex set of rules which is why legal help is imperative. 

Certain items like bank accounts and real estate can be owned by a parent and child jointly. The advantage of this setup is that the item will immediately pass to the ownership of the child when the parent dies. This method mostly bypasses the legal process once the joint ownership has been established. A related solution is to give away sentimental or valuable items as gifts during lifetime so that there will be no later disputes.  

When all else fails, there may be litigation in probate court or through a mediator. Depending on the size of the estate, this can be a quick process or one that drags on for years. If conflict happens, it is important to get help from a legal professional who works in this area of the law, otherwise your assets and interests may be compromised. 

Get help from a Destin trust and estate attorney

There are lawyers in northern Florida who can help you plan for the future with a will, estate plan, trust, or other legal instruments that will protect your assets and family. To speak with a licensed professional, contact ASG Legal

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