An essential part of an estate plan is determining who will receive your assets. These heirs or beneficiaries must be established in testamentary documents such as a will or trust. An effective estate plan also requires that a process is in place to ensure the smooth transfer of property to these intended heirs.
A dedicated estate planning attorney could help you craft an estate plan that ensures your wishes are followed when distributing an estate to heirs or beneficiaries in Mount Laurel. Making proper selections could help shorten the probate process and reduce the possibility of challenges to your testamentary documents after your death.
When Might a Beneficiary Receive Property?
When heirs or beneficiaries receive their allocated property depends on the type of testamentary document that identifies them. For example, a named heir in a will can only receive their share of estate property during the probate process. Once a party has submitted their will to probate, the probate court will appoint an executor of the estate to oversee the property and distribute it to the proper heirs. Other heirs or family members may contest this will, delaying the process of receiving assets.
Because of this potential delay, it may be best to explore alternative ways to distribute property in the future. One common option is creating a trust. A trust allows property to move to beneficiaries at any designated point in the future and is less likely to face legal challenges in court. An attorney could explain the various tools that Mount Laurel residents can use to distribute an estate to beneficiaries or heirs and help estate planners choose an option that is best for them.
Challenges that May Arise During the Distribution of Assets
The goal of any estate plan is to allow heirs and beneficiaries to obtain property with as little stress and downtime as possible. Sadly, complications can arise in this process that delays the movement of assets.
One common example concerns the state’s intestacy laws. A party dies intestate when they do not have an estate plan. When this situation occurs, state law guides a probate court on what parties stand to inherit the decedent’s property. Alternatively, if a party challenges a will and succeeds in getting the probate court to declare the will invalid, that court must distribute estate property according to intestacy laws. This complication could delay progress in implementing an estate planner’s desires.
Challenges may also arise concerning the actions of estate executors and trustees. While these parties have a legal duty to act in accordance with the terms of a will or trust, it is not uncommon for these individuals to commit fraud or otherwise frustrate the purpose of these documents. Choosing a competent and willing executor or trustee is key to making sure that heirs and beneficiaries receive the proper assets at the right time. A dedicated lawyer in Mount Laurel could help with avoiding these challenges and keeping the distribution of an estate on track.
An Attorney Could Assist in Distributing an Estate to Heirs or Beneficiaries in Mount Laurel
As you craft your estate plan, you must consider who you want to distribute your assets to and who you believe is best equipped to ensure this transfer happens smoothly. A lawyer could help draft an estate plan that protects you, your assets, and your loved ones.
If you have questions or concerns about distributing an estate to heirs or beneficiaries in Mount Laurel, a knowledgeable lawyer is here for you. Call us now to learn more.