In today’s article, I want to talk about the Hole in One of Estate Settlement.
Why am I calling it a hole in one?
Well … a simple estate settlement is about just as likely as a hole in one in golf. It is rare, and it is typically only accomplished by the most professionally trained and practiced golfers in the game.
The same is true when it comes to estate settlement.
When I see simple estate settlements it is because the family planned thoroughly and methodically planned in advance.
The family has a relationship with a core group of professional advisors (estate attorney, financial advisor, CPA, and insurance advisor).
They have a customized estate plan that focuses on simplicity for the surviving family members, saves on taxes for the surviving spouse and children, protects their retirement accounts for their loved ones after death, and serves them during the event of their incapacity.
They have a solid financial plan with properly completed beneficiary designations that coordinate with their estate plan.
They have a comprehensive tax plan in place to ensure that no more than necessary is being paid to the IRS in the form of taxes.
And most importantly … they review these plans regularly with their group of professional advisors and attorney.
The most common reason that plans fail at death is due to the fact of the plan not being kept up to date and the financial accounts and assets not coordinating properly with the estate plan.
When I see estate settlements go through the probate court, the likelihood of a hole in one is even less. For purposes of reminder, probate is the legal court process of settling your final affairs after death. It includes a public probate court proceeding where all of your financial assets and debts are opened up to the public record. Typically, the average probate can last anywhere from several months to two years or longer to complete.
The reason for this is that there are many, many different steps. It will usually begin with the petition to open a probate estate. This will include a number of additional pleadings, waivers, and other filings that you will need to complete with the court before the estate can be formally opened. If there is just one beneficiary that is being less than cooperative or late in completing these signings, then everything has to come to a halt before the probate case can move forward.
In addition, debts will need to be paid, if creditors feel they are not being treated fairly and paid equally with the other creditors, they can make additional filings with the probate court and request a hearing where the whole family has to come back into court to address these creditor issues.
These are just a small handful of the issues that are typical in ever probate case in Tennessee.
It is just very unusual to have a probate case where no issues come up, that is quick, and doesn’t last several months and possibly a year or more before the entire probate case is settled.
I am not saying this to scare you, but to educate you on the realities of planning your final affairs.
The families that have success, whose family experience a simple estate settlement, and who truly leave a legacy for their loved ones are the ones who plan in advance and have a group of trusted professionals who advise their family over the years.
If you have more questions about this type of planning and if you truly want to leave a hole in one for your family, please send us your question through the contact form and comment form below. You can also click the link below to schedule an initial planning strategy session so that we can discuss what may be the right planning options for you and your family.
Call Your Nashville, Tennessee Estate Planning Attorney, Daniel Perry, at (615) 490-0477 and Begin the Process of Protecting Your Family and Truly Leaving a Legacy You Can Be Proud Of!