Tending to the Estate

The Little Details can be Big Issues
Nobody likes to think about it, but there does come a time when life ends and an estate remains. Some major probate issues arise if a person does not have a will, but people try to put off having to draft one. That can leave a serious mess for beneficiaries and the small details can be troublesome.

Retirement Benefits

Human resources always makes a point to explain the importance of beneficiaries on 401(k)s. These retirement funds do not automatically go to a person’s estate; they go to the beneficiaries named on the enrollment form. Anyone who wants his or her 401(k) to go to the estate has to name the estate as the primary beneficiary. That is something that should be stressed even further when the will is being drawn up and the estate is planned. Older employees sense the need to draft a will, but because they are worried about the cost they use a boilerplate will instead. That can be a sizable mistake. There are issues such as medical power of attorney that ought to be addressed and any changes in beneficiaries which may result due to a sudden death. The details can be handled by an experienced lawyer who provides legal services in a group legal plan.

Addressing the Details

The advice from an attorney is intended to see to it that future problems do not flare-up. This can mean going over the language of the document, making certain with the plan member that what he or she wants to have done will occur. Attorneys are aware of what can happen when the will is left unattended. Consequently, they remind people of the importance of updating the will on a routine basis. Such counsel is part of any group legal plan that offers sound legal benefits. It is something that an Internet-based boilerplate will cannot provide. In other words, there’s a lot more to this than just putting pen to paper and writing a document.

Group Legal Plans help Human Resources

It can also be said that the legal benefits are a great help to human resources. One of the more difficult assignments for a benefits manager is to explain to survivors of a deceased employee that the 401(k) balance is not necessarily part of the will. A group legal plan allows a plan member to be in touch with a professional who will remind him or her of that. The lawyer can see to it that the primary beneficiary of the 401(k) is the estate itself, or provide options the plan member may wish to consider. This relieves human resources of a very painful interview, and the legal benefits also help the employee put estate affairs in order so that the company does not have to get involved. Another nice quality of a group legal plan is how easy it is to administer. These are ordinarily voluntary payroll deduction formats, and there are no involved procedures for human resources to worry about.

Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services has been developing group legal plans for employers since 1987. This experience allows Countrywide insights into what employers want for their employees, particularly in the area of customer service. Countrywide sees to it that attorneys in the referral network have excellent people skills as well as expert legal knowledge. The unwritten part of the legal benefits Countrywide provides is the empathy and concern shown every plan member. That is something that human resources especially is glad to see in services offered to any employee.

Employees of all ages will appreciate legal benefits that include drafting a will. Countrywide would welcome the chance to explain everything that can be done to design just the right plan for any employer. We invite anybody who is interested to give us a call and hear what we can do for them.

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