While a properly executed will may be enough to direct what you want to have happen to your assets upon your passing, that is ALL it will do. And, a will is not enough to protect you and your family from court involvement.
Many people believe that if they have a will, they will avoid court involvement. However, that is incorrect. If you own real property or if your assets are over $150,000 at passing, then a court must get involved after you pass, even if you have a will. Probate is the court process to transfer assets after someone passes away. That process generally takes over a year for a simple estate, and is costly. Probate fees are determined by statute and average 5-7% of the gross estate value. For example, a modest estate valued at $500,000 will have probate fees and costs that exceed $26,000.
Another reason a will is not enough is because it only becomes effective at your death, therefore it does not help during your lifetime. A will does not allow someone to act on your behalf if you cannot manage your finances due to an accident or illness.
A trust can be an effective solution. It serves as a will substitute and can be effective at avoiding court involvement entirely. Contact Andrea Shoup today to see if a trust is appropriate for you.