On one of many blog sites we scour for new content to share with you, the information below was offered by a helpful citizen who had seen a friend deal with the messy and lengthy probate court situation after a family member passed. In a hind-sight mentality, this is a wonderful guideline to take to heart right now if you haven’t got your affairs in order already!
- Make sure all bank accounts have direct beneficiaries. The beneficiary then need only go to the bank with your death certificate and an ID of their own.
- TOD = Transfer On Death deed if you own a home. Completing this document and filing it with the court saves your heirs thousands. This document allows you to transfer ownership of your home to your designee. All they need to do is take their ID and your Death Certificate and they will then have the deed signed over. Doing this will avoid the home having to go through probate.
- Living Will: Allows one to put in writing exactly what you want done in the event you cannot speak for yourself when it comes to healthcare decisions.
- Durable Power of Attorney: Allows one to designate a person to make legal decisions if one is no longer competent to do so.
- Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document allows one to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for their person. This is different than a Durable Power of Attorney.
- Last Will and Testament: Designates to whom personal belongings will go too. Without a legal will, it is Intestate: When a person dies intestate, deciding how their assets will be distributed becomes the responsibility of a state probate court. An intestate estate can also be one in which the will presented to the court was deemed to be invalid.
- Funeral Planning Declaration: States one’s wishes as far as disposition of the body and the service/s.