Inheritance procedures and wills are things not everyone likes to work on. After all, no one likes to think of their death. However, this is one of the things one must do before their health deteriorates, or it will be too late to write a will to divide assets. Unfortunately, this is not all that needs to be done in estate planning. You must also ensure that you have protected your family against inheritance theft and your assets go to the intended beneficiaries.
Inheritance theft is when someone other than the intended beneficiaries tries to get their hands on your property through unlawful means.
This can be through forged documents, denying undocumented loans, denigrating other heirs’ character, etc. While you may not be familiar with the term, this crime is pretty common. Therefore you must take steps to protect your family against such crimes. You will find below several ways of achieving this:Find out how you can make sure your family is protected against inheritance theft. These are the steps you should take today!Click To Tweet
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR INHERITANCE
Write your will
Make sure you write your will, regardless of how much estate you possess or how good your health is. Doing so ensures that your precious assets are divided according to your desires.
When there is a case of an intestate death, the state takes over the division of assets. Even if you have a trust in place, don’t skip out on the will. If you don’t know what is the difference between a will and a trust, we are here to answer that.
Yes, both wills and trusts are ways of dividing assets, but their method is entirely different.
For one, the implementation of a will takes place after one passes away, but trusts are put into effect as soon as the documents are signed. Also, a will is an unofficial document that allocates assets to beneficiaries and names guardians for children, while a trust is an official procedure that applies only to specific assets.
Select a person to give financial power of attorney
In any adverse situation where you cannot act on your own regarding estate processes, the person given power of attorney will be handling matters. This includes both financial and medical powers of attorney, which apply to financial and medical decisions, respectively.
Who you give this power to is in a position to misuse it and steal assets. Thus, only assign this power to a person you can truly trust with your assets and family’s inheritance.
Make the right decisions concerning executors
Who you name as a beneficiary is crucial. The executor will be in an ideal position to embezzle your assets and commit inheritance theft, so the person must be one you trust deeply.
It is also wise to name two instead of one executor, where one is a neutral, non-family member. When you name a financial planner or state attorney as your second, impartial executor, the first one might be unable to take advantage of their position unlawfully.
Organize and safely store your inheritance paperwork
When it comes to property matters, paperwork is everything. All it takes is a forged signature on official papers to illegally obtain an asset.
You might not know where your insurance policy documents, mortgage paperwork, or tax returns are. Organize your paperwork and keep it safe, but don’t hide them too well. At least inform your spouse or trusted sibling about it so that they have access to them when they need it in your absence.
Keeping your will in a safe spot is also crucial. Handover the original one to your lawyer, and you may retain copies in your safe-deposit box. It may even be wise to keep a virtual scanned copy of not just your will but also all other important documents.
Include a disclosure requirement in the will
When you write a will with a named executor, you trust them with your most precious information. No matter how much you trust this person, if they have ill intentions and you haven’t included a disclosure statement, it would be pretty easy to hide the theft.
A statement of disclosure mandates that the executor reveals all the will details with the beneficiaries. So they will know about expenses, assets, transfers, and other financial matters discussed in the will. This would make inheritance theft harder for the executor since they can no longer conceal evidence.
The world is not a safe place for someone unaware of the measures of ensuring personal protection. Especially when it comes to inheritance theft, falsified estate plans, fraudulent documentation, denying loans, and passing them as gifts are common practices.
Planning your will in time, making the right choices about executors, selecting the right person to assign power of attorney, securing paperwork, and taking other such measures should provide your assets and family a greater degree of protection against inheritance theft. So, remember to take these steps at the right time to ensure the financial safety of your beneficiaries.