In a recent podcast episode, leading estate planning attorney Kelly Shovelin, of Four Pillars Law Firm in Wilmington, NC, revealed why simply having a Will is not enough to protect one's money and assets. —
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When asked for a comment, she said, "The common misconception is that people think they need a Will to protect their loved ones after they've passed. People don't think about what would happen if they were mentally and physically incapable of handling their own finances while still living. Unfortunately, a Will doesn't do anything to address this."
According to Shovelin, there are numerous other legal documents that need to be put in place to help with financial, legal and healthcare management while someone is still alive.
"If you don't have these safeguards in place, then your resort is in the courts, which is costly, time-consuming, and public - and people don't want that."
Shovelin alluded to the fact that a Will does not help people avoid probate, which is the legal process for disseminating the property or assets of a deceased person to heirs.
"Essentially, probate equals time and money. It takes time to go through the courts to have your will probated. There's a whole probate process that you have to go through, which is overseen by the courts. You have to do the reporting, so it's onerous, time-consuming, and expensive," she said.
The probate process takes at least three months in most cases, but can go on for years, during which time monies left behind via a Will cannot be accessed by family members. To make matters worse, the waiting time has been exacerbated due to the backlog of cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Will fails to address what will happen when someone becomes incapacitated, which could be particularly problematic from a financial perspective.
“It could be disastrous, particularly if you’re a single individual or if you’re married and don’t have joint accounts, then your loved ones or your spouse may not have access to your bank accounts or monies to cover expenses or bills. And so again, you would have to go through the courts just to gain this access, which can be very overwhelming to families who are already going through a stressful time,” she said.
"If you don't have the proper planning in place and you're not able to speak directly with doctors, then the question becomes who is responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf - and that can be very confusing in a time that's already difficult on your loved ones as is."
Shovelin further highlighted that a ‘Living Lockbox’ is a great way to ensure that loved ones are taken care of, no matter the situation.
"A ‘Living Lockbox’ is essentially a way that you can bypass probate altogether and allow your inheritance to more seamlessly transfer to your heirs without that oversight from the courts. Essentially, my clients who are using the ‘Living Lockbox’ are guaranteeing their own personal and financial security, as well as the financial security of their loved ones, without having to deal with the courts."
Name: Kelly Shovelin
Email: Send Email
Organization: Four Pillars Law Firm
Address: 2202 Wrightsville Avenue, Suite 213 Wilmington, NC 28403
Phone: (910) 762-1577
Source URL: http://RecommendedExperts.biz
Release ID: 88986254