Discussing any stage of estate plans can prove difficult for many families. No matter the point of life at which the planning began, family members can often walk away with more questions than answers. Some Missouri residents grappling with this process may be wondering what specific boxes need checking. Others may be wary of the detailed steps involved. The following pointers provide residents with general information on estate planning, as well as how to avoid potential speed bumps along the way. 

NerdWallet dives into the topic of estate planning, and more specifically, probate. In general, most would prefer to avoid probate in any way possible; NerdWallet explains that most individuals attempt to preserve assets for future family members. Because probate usually occurs when a person dies intestate, the procedure of validating a will may involve an estate executor or attorney. Depending on a person’s estate, the process of probate can become time-consuming.

In addition, it can become costly: NerdWallet points out that many professionals can become involved in determining one’s will, therefore resulting in a possible accumulation of charges. Lastly, NerdWallet informs readers that these processes are public, and while this factor may not raise concerns for everyone, it is one more potential challenge that comes with probate.

Money Crashers also considers ways to avoid probate, a process that could possibly land one’s estate in the wrong hands. Family disagreements over the deceased’s financial and legal matters can also easily take place — especially when emotions over a loved one’s possible intentions are involved. Another perhaps lesser-known reason to avoid probate involves pets. Money Crashers shares that because states consider pets property, it is important to instruct in a will whom, exactly, will provide care for these beloved family members. While navigating estate planning can take considerable time on its own, avoiding probate can make for a smoother process in the long run.