4 Reasons Why Choosing Beneficiaries is a Good Thing

Having a family is one of life’s greatest joys. There is so much to look forward to — graduation, marriage, grandkids. Of course, these things require a lot of financial planning like 529 savings plans for college, or trust funds.

One thing we hate to think about, however, is how to plan for our loved ones’ financial well-being when we pass on. One of the ways you can make sure that your loved ones are taken care of is to set up beneficiaries for things such as life insurance and your estate.

Want to learn more about choosing beneficiaries? We have got you covered. Read on to learn about the reasons for selecting beneficiaries!

It Gives You More Control

You have control over your financial assets now, why would you not want control over their distribution when you pass on? 

If you pass without having a will or beneficiaries set up, then it is ultimately up to your next of kin to decide how to divide up your assets. In the event that there is a dispute over who should get what, then it will be up to a judge to make that decision.

Choosing beneficiaries now ensures that you are in complete control of your assets.

Choosing Beneficiaries Makes Distribution of Assets Less Stressful

We want to think that our family will be able to divide up assets in a civil manner. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The stress of the loss of a family member and dividing up their assets can do a lot of damage to relationships.

By pre-planning who gets what, your loved ones can avoid the stress and hurt feelings of dividing up your assets. 

Your Beneficiaries Can Avoid a Lengthy Probate Process

Probate is a notoriously long process by which the executor or administrator of the estate manages the assets of the estate to make sure that all assets are collected, debts are paid, and all property is distributed. Probate is more complicated when there is not a will, or an existing will needs verification.

Not all property must go through probate. Most states will allow a certain amount of your estate to get passed on to your loved ones without going through probate first. Life insurance policy payouts can bypass the probate process entirely so long as there are designated beneficiaries.

Peace of Mind

If nothing else, setting up beneficiaries will give you the peace of mind that you have done everything that you can to make sure your loved ones will continue to prosper, even if you pass.

Estate planning may not be a fun thing to think about, but it is still incredibly important if you want your loved ones to enjoy financial stability after you pass on. When it comes to estate planning, it is never too soon to get started.

Ready to Set Up Your Beneficiaries?

Choosing beneficiaries for your estate and insurance is an incredibly important step in planning for your family after you pass on. Not only does it give you control of who gets what portion of your policies and estate, but it also prevents tension among family members.

Ready to start planning for your family and loved ones after you pass on? We can help guide you through the process. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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How Long Does a Case Stay in Probate Court?

Probate is a long and drawn-out process that must proceed according to the laws of each state. It is required that a complete inventory of the deceased’s assets be completed in a timely fashion. In most cases, this is approximately 90 days.

Notifying the Beneficiaries of an Estate

Typically, beneficiaries must be notified within 60 days of a probate hearing. This allows them to make arrangements for any inheritance taxes that may need to be paid. Public notices must also be posted to inform individuals who may have a right to a portion of the estate but not otherwise listed in the will or other legal documents. In most states, if a person believes they have a right to a portion of the estate, they only have a specific amount of time to contact the administrator of the estate in writing.

Creditors’ Claims on an Estate

Creditors must also notify the administrator of any claims that are owed to them by the deceased. In most states, the time frame to file these types of claims is limited to 30 days. Each state is different, however, and the timeframes are strictly enforced. For their claim to be considered, creditors must have valid documentation and receipts to offer support. Once the claim has been verified and substantiated, it will be paid as part of the estate’s expenses. Creditors can be notified in a variety of ways, including the public notices that are posted.

Dispersing the Assets of an Estate

All of these steps within the probate process can take several months to complete. All of the debts and expenses associated with the case must be paid before any of the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries. Depending on the size and value of the estate, beneficiaries can expect to start receiving their inheritance between four and eight months after all of the expenses have been paid and other legal matters have been settled. If the estate is rather large and businesses are involved, the length of time it takes to complete the probate process can take several months. In some cases, it may take several years for a probate case to reach completion.

Contesting a Will

A probate case can be extended if a will is contested. If a dispute arises between two or more of the intended beneficiaries, specific steps will need to be taken to determine the validity of each of the beneficiary’s claims. While the administrator will attempt to stick to the will as much as possible, there will be times when a decision is made to “break the will” and alter how the deceased’s assets are distributed. This usually only occurs with estates that are rather large or that involve several businesses or assets. For a person to contest a will, they must inform the administrator in writing and provides reasons as to why they believe they should be included.

How to Get Help With Your Estate & Probate

Probate cases take time to resolve.

If you have questions about probate, wills, trusts, or any estate law, call the professional staff at Indigo Family Law.

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