Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones Regarding Probate
Estate Planning, as agreed by all probate law firms such as LA Probate Law, is a prudent and responsible preparation for anyone and everyone and while you do so for many reasons, including protecting yourself, your assets, and your loved ones, there are continued situations and individuals you must remain aware of to protect said entities. From greedy family members to legally compromised stipulations to straight up criminals, being aware of the dangers out there is the first and most important step in protecting your wishes. As usual, having legal consultation and protection is paramount and consulting a probate law firm is, most likely, as importance as the awareness of the dangers lurking.
Having Legally Binding Probate Documents
Some people simply write their posthumous wishes on a piece of paper and call it their will. This type of document actually has a name; it is called a holographic will and family members and probate judges will oftentimes try and follow through on these declarations to the best of their ability. The problem arises when this is contested in the court of law, that is when the legality of such a document comes into question and if the individual arguing your holographic will has any sort of legitimate case, your hand written last will and testament may be thrown out altogether and you will be obviously absent to confirm your position. The best way to avoid such a scenario is to see an estate planning professional like LA Probate Law. When consulting a professional probate lawyer, you can have your wishes documented and legally binding through a multitude of available wills. Your individual situation will be considered and the appropriate will can then be recommended. You will then have the peace of mind and security you deserve.
Greedy Family Members
While we all like to think highly of our relatives and loved ones, the truth of the matter is that your closest relatives are the ones that tend to bring the most problems, greed, and arguments to the table during your life and in many instances, after your passing. You wonder how could they dispute your will or take advantage of you after you have died. Well, as previously stated, they can contest the will if they feel as if they’ve been cheated or forgotten. Again, having a proper last will and testament drawn up by an estate planning professional such as LA Probate Law is your best defense against this situation. Another common mistake is selecting the wrong executioner in your will. Many people want to name the person closest to them, or the person they like the best to have the responsibility of bequeathing their property to the named benefactors, but that is not always the best selection. Your executor should be picked with your head and not your heart because even with full and thorough legal consult, the executor will always be in a position to take advantage. For example, if you select your sister to be in charge of your estate, and she doesn’t like another family member, or your significant other, or any benefactor named in your will, she will be in a position to cheat said rival for the sake of hurting them, or simply to get more for herself. The best way to select an executor would be to find the most unbiased, level headed individual that you are close to and trust. Your executor does not necessarily have to be the person you are closest to, or even the person who will be receiving the most from your estate, just simply the person you trust most to follow through on your wishes verbatim.
As sad as it may seem, there are criminals out there who specifically seek out probate cases and elderly, near death victims to take advantage of in such a time. Believe it or not, criminal enterprises actually have a few handbooks regarding how to steal people’s property by exploiting probate law. Some examples include impersonations; where they forge documents, go to the land bureau with said documents that show they have been bequeathed property and insist having the deed redrawn in their name, and then they go to the bank and “borrow” large sums of money against the property and are never seen again! Another example is approaching elderly persons of diminished mental capacity and convinces said individuals to include them in the will. Many times they take the majority of one’s estate and if the family realizes such an act has taken place too late, they have little or no legal recourse and the criminal doesn’t even run away, they smile and take your families possessions while smile in the victims face. These are just two examples of how a criminal can liquefy an estate and leave the departed’s family in a horrible situation with little to be done for recourse. The best way to avoid such circumstances is awareness and a relationship with professionals in probate law. Individuals using LA Probate Law have rarely, if ever, come across such situations due to the diligence of themselves and the probate lawyers watching over each individual client. Education, awareness, and the help of estate planning professionals should help you and your loved ones because in cases like this, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.