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Divorce, wills and other estate-planning documents

Divorce is a time of many changes for those going through it, whether here in Palm Beach or elsewhere. With numerous tasks to attend to prior to the conclusion of the divorce process, it can be easy to forget that any wills and other estate-planning documents probably require changes. Since no one can predict the future, the sooner these documents are reviewed and appropriately changed, the better.

Wills can either help or hinder the administration of an estate

Many in Palm Beach and across the country were saddened by the recent death of music legend Aretha Franklin. It's surprising that someone of her status and wealth did not even have a will. Without at least that document, the administration of her estate will likely be challenging. The challenges her surviving loved ones face may make it clear why wills are important for every adult no matter how many assets exist.

Only certain people can contest wills

After the loved ones of Palm Beach residents pass away, the task of wrapping up the estates of the deceased begins. If wills exist, these documents are then filed with the court and probate proceedings begin in most cases. Once a particular will is examined, someone may believe something just is not right, and a contest to the will could be considered.

Wills are not set in stone

Some Palm Beach residents are under the impression that, once they execute an estate plan, they cannot ever change it. Fortunately, wills are not set in stone. One of the best things about estate planning is that it can change as people's lives do.

Naming the right people in wills

With all of the decisions that Palm Beach residents make when planning their estates, one could make or break the entire thing -- the people appointed to carry out their wishes. Most of the documents that make up an estate plan require the designation of one or more people who will be in charge of executing the instructions of the person creating the plan. When it comes to wills, two positions generally need filling -- the executor and the guardian.

Wills need to meet certain requirements in order to be valid

Like other Palm Beach residents who are just beginning the estate planning process, you may have numerous questions. For instance, you may know that wills are considered the cornerstone of estate plans. However, you may not understand how a will functions upon death or what may be included in it. Moreover, you may not realize what it takes to ensure that a court rules your will as valid when the time comes to administer your estate.

Having a will and updating it are two critical steps

When it comes to wills, there are two important issues that every person must confront. The first is whether or not you even have a will. That may sound silly, but many people put off drafting and completing their will, and that failure to complete a will could cost them dearly in their later years. If you don't have a will, then you should do everything in your power, right now, to complete one.

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