Keeping Your Estate Plan Out of Prying Eyes

Estate planning is a way for us (single or married) to plan ahead for our future, and make sure that our property, finances and the like are distributed in such a way that meets our requests. If you are considering establishing your estate plan, do not hesitate in contacting a probate and estate planning attorney in your area to guide you through this process. The legal matters associated with estate planning are extensive, which is why having an experienced lawyer on your side is so important; someone who will look after your needs and help you establish a plan that is best for you and your family.

Estate planning is often done in order to give a sense of peace for those who may have a lot of property, or to parents and grandparents who wish to see their loved ones taken care of in the event of their death in the future. One of the unfortunate aspects of estate planning is the fact that while it is meant to be a blessing to your family in the future, it is not always kept entirely secret from the public eye if they look hard enough. If you hope to keep it out of the public's prying eyes, will based estate plans and trust-based estate plans actually will make a significant difference in the ability for other people to look into what you are doing.

If you decide to do a will-based estate plan, these documents will be filed as public records. This means that if you (and perhaps your spouse) decide that filing out a "last will and testament" these will have to be filed with the local (and very public) probate court. If you have no problem with this, then a will may be the best option for you. Within your last will and testament, here you will address the many wishes for your personal affects including property, jewelry and other possession, your investments, etc. Within your will, you may also list out the person that you consider responsible enough to have these exact wishes carried out. Once these details are worked through, this will then be filed with the probate court and become available for the public records. This may be a concern because it allows anyone the chance to see what property and investments are under your name, as well as who will inherit what when you die (and their personal contact information). If this makes you uncomfortable, talk to your estate planning attorney about the other options that are available, and much more private.

Planning your estate is a big decision, and for some keeping these matters confidential is just as important. For this reason, retaining a trust-based plan will allow you to feel the same peace of having matters sorted through before your death without the discomforts of the world knowing about all of your property and possessions. A living trust is a contract that your attorney can help you with in order keeps your matters private while still sorting through the details of your assets and property. After planning through these details, as long as you are alive, you will have the freedom to make any changes in the trust as well as how the funds are used. In the event that you are made mentally unfit to make decisions, you will then have a disability trustee take over and the funds and how to control them. Responsibility may change again after you die when your administrative trustee takes responsibility to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, the proper payments made and the right recipients are given their share.

To learn more about probate and estate planning, find a local attorney using our site to answer any of your questions!