Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a last will and testament if the deceased made one. It includes locating and determining the value of the decedent's assets, paying final bills and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. Probate can be a costly and time-consuming process, but it can be avoided fairly easily.
What should you know? What should your executor know?
When people think about estate planning, they may think in terms of personal property, real estate, and investments. Digital assets might seem like a lesser concern, perhaps no concern at all. But it is something that many are now considering.1
It may not sound enticing, but creating a will puts power in your hands.
According to the global analytics firm Gallup, only about 44% of Americans have created a will. This finding may not surprise you. After all, no one wants to be reminded of their mortality or dwell on what might happen upon their death, so writing a last will and testament is seldom prioritized on the to-do list of a Millennial or Gen Xer. What may surprise you, though, is the statistic cited by personal finance website The Balance: around 35% of Americans aged 65 and older lack wills.1,2
Is your garage overflowing with bank statements and paid bills from ten years ago? Are you unsure about what documents need to be retained and what can be tossed? Speaking of tossing, what documents can be tossed in the trash, and which should be shredded? Are you wanting to finally get control of your documents?
Almost any large nonprofit organization has a planned giving department that will guide you through the maze of giving options available.
How can you convey its importance and its meaning?
The Personal Financial Organizer