It appears that Aretha Franklin was among the 58% of US adults who do not have an estate plan.  Her estate, estimated to be worth $80 million, will now go through the lengthy and expensive, not to mention quite public, legal process known as probate.
While we don’t all have Ms. Franklin’s level or complexity of estates, we all have something we want to leave to our loved ones, and it isn’t a headache.  Without a comprehensive estate plan your loved ones will need to follow the state government’s plan on distribution of your assets.  This process may have the following unintended consequences:
Gifting– If you plan on making a legacy gift to a charity, alma mater, or other organization, your intentions will likely be ignored.  The state government has a strict distribution method your estate administration will need to follow which will exclude your intended beneficiary.  To avoid this you will need a Will, Trust, or beneficiary designation on your asset.  
Protection from Creditors and Predators– Outright distributions to your heirs means there is no asset protection against creditors or individuals wanting a cut of that inheritance.  Car accident? Divorce?  Life events happen.  Protecting the assets intended for your loved ones can only be down with proper longterm panning.
Privacy–  Handling your estate administration through probate is a public process, which can come with high court costs and attorney fees.  While expenses aren’t completely avoidable, keeping the transfer of your assets can be done out of the public’s eye through Trust planning.

So why are you putting this off? Don’t let this uncertainty happen to your family.  Let the attorneys at Legacy Preservation Law help you avoid unnecessary conflict and confusion by preparing a comprehensive estate plan. Call us today at (503) 224-6611 to schedule your consultation.