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There are many mistaken beliefs about what a will does for you. While they are an important part of an estate plan, wills have three major limitations.

A will doesn’t avoid probate

This sometimes comes as a shock to people – a will has to go through probate, meaning your heirs will have to wait months before the court approves the distribution of your estate, not to mention the extra expense and headache of going to court.

A will doesn’t cover you if you are incapacitated

A will only takes effect when you die.  A will is can’t help you if you are in the hospital, and need someone to make important medical decisions, and financial decisions.   If you become permanently incapacitated, a conservatorship may even be required without the right legal documents.

A will won’t protect your estate against creditors

In probate the opposite is true: creditors are actually protected – you are required to find and notify any of your creditors so they can submit claims against the estate.  Also, any creditors of your heirs can also submit claims against what they expect to receive.

All of the above problems have simple solutions contained in a complete estate plan.  Are you prepared?

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