Michael Jackson is a world-famous celebrity who have made millions of dollars from his career as a pop star which spanned for decades. Thus, it came as a surprise to people when he suddenly passed away in 2009 without a will and testament in place.

This has caused chaos within and outside of his family on who has the rights to the fortune that he has earned over the years. Michael Jackson is just one of the many Americans, both celebrities and ordinary people, who do not have an estate plan in place.

Regardless of whether one has a lot of fortune left, or has a reasonable amount to split within his family, the lack of such legal document can cause a legal problem. Having a family attorney from Denver, CO is crucial in helping you draft your estate plan while you are still alive and able to do so.

Below are some important things to remember (and do) to lessen the burden on your family once your time on earth is up.

Have a last will and testament

A probate is a process which the court uses to determine a deceased’s estate. This process can be lengthy (and chaotic) if proper documents, like a will and testament, are absent. Thus, it is important to have your last will and testament ready in the event of your passing.

Having such documents will not spare you from the probate process, but it can certainly help make the procedure a lot easier.

Do an inventory

Look around your house. What are the valuable things that you would want your spouse to have? What are the things that you would want your children to inherit? Will your siblings have a share of your tangible assets? What about your intangible assets?

Doing an inventory of the things that you possess and would like to pass on is time-consuming. But, it is necessary to help you properly allocate your assets and avoid confusion among the people that you left behind.

Identify your beneficiaries

People usually leave their assets behind their family. However, it is also common to have beneficiaries aside from your kin. Identifying your beneficiaries in your will and testament is an effective way to properly determine and allocate your assets to the people whom you want to leave it behind.

Aside from your will and testament, it also pays to have your insurances updated as it often includes a list of who as the right to your assets when you pass away.

Work with a lawyer

lower shot of a lawyer holding legal documents

Working with a lawyer is not an additional expense. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to save your family from the hassle of claiming an inheritance and the burden of the lengthy legal process just because your last will and testament is not legally binding.

Having the services of a lawyer can help ensure that your family and your assets are on the right path.

If you still do not have your estate planned, do it now. The uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring should be enough motivation for you to have your assets and beneficiaries in order.