We may only get one chance to plan our estates, and how we plan our estates will have a profound impact on our families and the ones we love. Often estate planning mistakes are discovered after it’s too late. Each family has different needs and different concerns. It is important that your estate plan is designed for your particular family situations. Estate planning is a combination of the rational mind, that knows what to do with information, and the compassionate mind, that teaches and listens. An estate-planning attorney should never lose focus on these principles.
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. Most individuals are concerned about the strain that this will put on their family. However, if your loved-one owned his or her assets through a well-drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary.