Estate planning in Oregon can be a worrisome issue with people wondering how to ensure their loved ones are protected. Probate is the process in which the estate is settled after a person has died. While the goal of an estate plan is to address every factor, certain problems can arise.

There are three common mistakes people make with estate planning. Research indicates that as many as 60% of adults have not moved forward with creating a will and other estate planning documents. Not only is it important to have a will, but it should also be updated as life changes occur. It is called “intestate” if a person dies without a will. This will make the probate process increasingly complicated and raise the chance of family disputes occurring.

Often, people do not understand the difference between estate taxes and probate. Current law requires that there be an estate tax if the estate is worth at least $11.58 million. However, probate will still be necessary. There could be a state estate tax. An estate plan can address this. Finally, there are strategies to keep certain assets from having to go through probate. For example, if it is a small estate, the fees can be reduced. There may be less paperwork. The time spent from start to finish could be shorter. Knowing the level at which an estate can be categorized as a small estate is key. There are other ways to avoid probate, like having a revocable trust or a living trust.

Regardless of a person’s financial situation and goals, having a basic estate plan that addresses the above issues and more can be vital. To prevent disagreements and experience a smooth process, legal advice might be wise. A law firm that handles all aspects of estate planning may be able to help.