Estate Planning Made Easy: How to Ensure Your Family Gets What You Leave Them

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 6:00 AM | 9 Comments

When a person approaches the end of their life, it becomes more of a concern that their earthly possessions are properly divided among their heirs; yet, in many cases, complications arise that prevent their possessions from being properly distributed to the intended recipients.

As a result, the probate court, the executor and disgruntled heirs daring to interpret the decedent’s wishes are left to battle it out for control of what property, money or personal possessions remain in question.

Frequently, the legal battles this will create will go on for years with no guarantee that the decedent’s wishes will have been accurately carried out concerning the resolving of their estate and final affairs.

Fortunately, the person engaged in estate planning can take measures to resolve these types of problems before they ever become an issue.

Here are a few ideas to clarify how this is done.

  • Choosing an Executor

    An executor is a person who takes on the burden of managing an estate through the probate process. Generally, this is a daunting task, because all legal and obligatory actions must be carried out on time and in line with the decedents wishes.

    The executor should, therefore, be a trusted individual that can be counted on to execute their responsibilities in a proper fashion. Simply granting this authority to any random family member, or worse allowing the probate court to assign an executor to the estate, may prove to create more problems than it resolves.

  • Hire a Competent Attorney to Help With Estate Planning

    According to Robinson and Henry, PC, the probate process can be tricky. This is certainly true if the decedent has no will or the will is being contested.

    For this reason, it is especially important to make certain that a will is properly drafted during the estate planning phase. This is not simply an issue that people should seek to do at the last minute either.

    A lot of thought and careful wording needs to go into a will to avoid ambiguities that could create legal problems.

  • Identify the Heirs

    It is always a good idea to identify those people who you want to receive money, personal items or to have a controlling interest in the estate’s real property holdings after the decedent has passed away.

    Making a list and assigning specific belongings to specific heirs helps to create a working outline of who should receive what from the decedent’s estate. Having this worked out ahead of time can make working with an attorney to draft a will an easier process.

  • Avoiding Probate

    According to Community Voice, there are a variety of ways to keep assets from needing to go through the probate process.

    One way to get around probate is to hold joint tenancy on real property that transfers to the remaining person on title once the decedent has passed away. This action keeps the probate court’s hands off the rightful heir’s real property inheritance.

    Revocable trusts and pay on death bank accounts, for example, are other methods people use to keep assets from being subject to probate upon death of the decedent.

Estate planning can be a sticky and legally draining experience. Fortunately, the less a person leaves up to chance in the executor of the estate and the probate court’s hands, the less problems are likely to arise.

By transferring the assets of the estate before death, as much as possible, and drafting an iron clad will, a decedents wishes can mostly be carried out before death has occurred. Such forward thinking will undoubtedly make resolving the estate less cumbersome on all parties involved.

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Anica Oaks is a Freelance writer and web enthusiast. Read some of her published work on her Google+ page.

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  1. 9 Responses to “Estate Planning Made Easy: How to Ensure Your Family Gets What You Leave Them”

  2. By Pearlie S.Gilligan on Dec 28, 2016, 6:49 am | Reply

    This is an awesome tip! I would have never thought to do that!
    You can also list all the life insurance policies on your life or those you own. You also need to list the beneficiary of the policies for your estate planning checklist, the cash value, face value and ownership of each policy. Since life insurance becomes part of your estate, in most states and for federal taxation, these factors all become important for larger estates.
    Hope this makes sense and helps you.
    Pearlie S.Gilligan recently posted…How to Place Conditions on Assets Your Beneficiaries ReceiveMy Profile

  3. By Pearlie S.Gilligan on Dec 28, 2016, 6:59 am | Reply

    This is an awesome tip! I would have never thought to do that!
    A good estate planning attorney can structure the inheritance for the children, to remain in trust for their lifetime. This will protect the inheritance from the potential creditors of the child such as divorce, bankruptcy, lawsuits, etc.
    Pearlie S.Gilligan recently posted…How to Place Conditions on Assets Your Beneficiaries ReceiveMy Profile

  4. By Michael Haslam on Dec 30, 2016, 2:22 am | Reply


    Nice Post.

    I am glad to know how important it is to estate plan now. Meeting with a lawyer and setting up an established plan for your family seems like a good way care for them, when you are not there to do so. I agree that having a plan of where your children will go if you were to die, is very important to the child’s well-being.

    Thanks for sharing buddy.

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards Michael Haslam

  5. By William Lyons on Feb 6, 2017, 11:50 pm | Reply

    You will want to make sure that your estate is planned for and that your wealth, no matter how small, is distributed as you want it to be upon your death. At a minimum, people should plan for a power of attorney and have a will to ensure that you and your assets are properly planned for when the time comes to divide up your estate. An attorney that specializes in estate planning attorney is the best choice for this job.

    Thanks for being sharing.

    William Lyons
    William Lyons recently posted…‘Springing’ Powers of Attorney Present Some Legal ComplicationsMy Profile

  6. By John R. McDonald on Feb 22, 2017, 5:20 am | Reply

    Hi Buddy !!!

    Nice Share!!!!!

    Someone who is planning for his golden years, holding a proper attorney at hand can present things easier for him, especially when the time comes when you have no longer nearby to specifically entrust and indicate your properties and assets.It is very important beforehand for your assets. Thanks for the tips in the article.

    Thanks for sharing and Keep Sharing !!!!
    John R. McDonald recently posted…The Importance of Updating Your Estate PlanMy Profile

  7. By denise williams on May 8, 2017, 3:11 am | Reply

    Hi buddy,
    Nice share!!

    I suggest you all hire an attorney if you want to distribute your property and wealth to your beneficiaries. I agree that estate planning is mandatory.Thanks for the ideas related to this subject.

    Thanks for sharing and keep sharing!!

  8. By Rosie Taylor on May 10, 2017, 1:45 am | Reply


    Great post.

    I completely agree with you that the goal of estate planning is to help you achieve your personal and family goals after you pass away.

    It ensures that your assets will end up in the hands of those people whom you wish them to go to so that you can reach your personal and financial goals even after you die.

    You also can reduce the amount of taxes paid by planning your estate in the right way to ensure that your heirs receive a larger inheritance.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Rosie Taylor recently posted…Do All Assets Need To Go Through Probate?My Profile

  9. By Richard Yaffee on Jul 11, 2017, 10:19 am | Reply


    Awesome tips!

    Now i know how important it is to estate plan now.It provide good things to come up!

    I wish to post more tips like this article. Thanks!

  10. By Zac Knipe on Aug 21, 2017, 1:08 am | Reply

    If this all sounds complicated and difficult, just take things one step at a time. A proper estate plan will protect you, your family and your wealth, now and in the years to come. Just ask the Piasentins. With five kids under the age of 10 they aren’t getting much sleep these days. But they are gradually piecing together a plan that will allow them to rest easy, knowing their estate plan will minimize the impact a loss could have on their family.

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