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2 essential questions to ask when creating an estate plan

As you contemplate creating an estate plan in Cleveland, you may find yourself wondering how you should go about the process. While there is no set of official rules or guidelines for you to follow, you should keep some specific key considerations in mind besides which family members you plan to leave an inheritance to. 

The right plans do more than protect your estate from mismanagement. They also provide instructions for healthcare, financial management and end-of-life care for you to rely on in the event of disability or serious illness. Regardless of how much wealth or assets you have, consider the following questions to strengthen the protection and enforcement of your final wishes. 

How can I prevent disputes? 

No amount of love and respect is enough to prevent family members from squabbling over a deceased loved one’s assets when she or he dies. If you have children and other family members prone to conflict while you are alive, it becomes even more pertinent for you to structure your estate plans to nip potential disputes in the bud. Appoint an executor as a neutral party to oversee the handling of your estate. Use discretion when choosing an executor for your estate. The right representative should be of exceptional character, trustworthy and respectable. 

How can I avoid probate court? 

When someone dies, her or his estate passes through probate court. A will is one type of document out of several protections that you can use to minimize the involvement of probate court. Depending on the type of assets you have and your intent for your beneficiaries’ inheritances, you may benefit from the protection of living (revocable) trusts, irrevocable trusts and power of attorney (financial and healthcare). 

Creating a solid estate plan is not hard, but it does require careful consideration of your estate and end-of-life wishes. Exercise due diligence, and seek out professional help.