We help you make it easier for your family after you’re gone.

Example: Steve and Sue are in their 70s and have never done any estate planning.  They want to leave everything to each other and then to their two children equally.  They also want to make sure things will be settled as easily as possible.  What should they do?

If they don’t have a will, then state law will control what happens. In Kentucky, if Steve dies first without a will, then Sue would probably inherit only $15,000 plus half his estate.  The children would inherit the other half.  This could leave Sue in a bad financial situation.  So Steve and Sue probably need a Will or a Trust.

Beyond that, the answer depends on a number of factors. Every family is different.  For example, many people don’t realize that wills don’t control everything.  That is why it’s important to coordinate Beneficiary Designations with your estate plan.  If Steve and Sue don’t do that, then they may end up treating their children unequally, which is what they do not want to do. What is easiest for their children may depend on their situations.  For example, if their children are going through bankruptcy or a divorce, the money Sue and Steve leave them may end up in the hands of creditors or ex-spouses.  Thus they may want to consider giving their money to their children “in trust” rather than outright. This can be done while they’re alive through a Living Trust or in their Wills through a Testamentary Trust.  If they don’t have any such concerns, then simple wills may be all they need.

How do I avoid probate?

For most families in Kentucky, probate is not a difficult or expensive process.  However, if Sue and Steve’s financial or family situation is complicated, they may worry that probate could be a difficult or expensive process for their families.  In that event, they may want to avoid probate altogether.  Living Trusts and Beneficiary Designations are two ways we help clients do this.

Many people unintentionally make it more difficult on their families.  We can help you make it less difficult on them.