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Giving all your money to charity might let you avoid disputes

There are a few ways that a person can have a say in their affairs after their death. In many cases, wishes that a person has expressed might be modified or even ignored. However, having a will that makes a person's wishes clear can go a long way toward ensuring that those desires are carried out.

Having a confusing or ambiguous will can make the probate process confusing and potentially divisive for surviving family members and friends. In many cases, people complete a will with the intention of avoiding the problems that they end up causing. Having an attorney to help with the process might lead to many of these headaches being avoided.

In some cases, people might wish not to leave their estate and assets to individuals but instead to an organization, such as a charity. Quite often, this can be a relatively painless process for everyone involved. However, it is certainly a good idea to let the charity know in advance that it will be named as a beneficiary. This will enable administrators to handle the estate using their own attorneys and processes -- something they will often be very willing to do in exchange for being the beneficiary.

Some people might be inclined to set up a trust in order to transfer their estates to charity in an orderly fashion. However, this might not be necessary, especially if all the funds are to be directed to a single entity. It might be wise for some people, however, which is where having an experienced attorney could be a real benefit.

Source: The Lamar Ledger, "Charity receiving estate will handle probate," Bruce Williams, April 14, 2014

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