Life is unpredictable by nature. It’s best to have certain safety nets set up and established in cast the worst should happen at any time. In the event of a parent or legal guardian’s death, dependents can be left with little financial security. As a result, parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to think head and make necessary arrangements for their children or dependents. This will ensure that they will be well taken care of in case such devastation does occur while they are minors or before they are financially independent.
Parents and guardians can make essential plans through two different methods. The first is through a last will and testament. In a will, an individual—legally referred to as the testator—is able to delineate specific instructions regarding what should become of his or her properties and assets after they pass. A will can also be used as a space to make special directives regarding the care of his or her children or wards, as well as to name a specific person in charge of executing everything mandated in the document. After the death of a testator, a will is validated through a legal process called probate. This process can become lengthy, lasting from 6 months to a year. Chicago probate litigation lawyers would probably tell you that it could take longer if there are any disputes with regards to the validity of the will coming from family members and beneficiaries.
The second method is through a living trust. Drafting a trust allows a person—this time called the grantor—much of the same privileges that a will can give. In their trust, individuals can make arrangements regarding their properties and assets, as well as make detailed instructions regarding child care and other similar concerns. The difference is that a trust is already considered effective during a grantor’s lifetime. A living trust allows named beneficiaries or trustees to skip the lengthy probate process. However, certain issues can still slow down and block the enactment of a trust. According to the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, complications may arise if the trust is not written in a way that accurately depicts the intentions of the grantor.
If you are considering drafting a will or trust to ensure the security of your dependents, don’t hesitate to consult with experienced legal professionals regarding this often complicated area of the law.