Why Everyone Needs Estate Planning
Everyone should have an estate plan of some kind. Exactly what your plan looks like depends on you, your finances, your desires and your needs. A skilled estate planning lawyer can help you develop the plan that is right for you.
Here are the top five reasons for having an estate plan:
1. Have Control Over Your Property
Your legacy, whether big or small, is valuable to you and only you should decide how it is handled after you are gone. Without an estate plan, you are allowing the state to determine what happens to your prized possessions and hard-earned money. When you have an estate plan in place, you know that your loved ones or your favorite charities are getting what you intended.
2. Plan For The Unexpected
Estate plans can help you and your family in the event of an unexpected loss of life or sudden illness.
Having an estate plan lets you know that your children will be cared for by people you have chosen, and your assets will be used in the manner you deem best suited for your children’s benefit.
Even if you don’t have children, you should have a plan for what happens to the home you live in, who will be responsible for your pets when you aren’t around, who gets the classic muscle car you have in your garage, your great grandmother’s wedding ring or your favorite piece of art.
3. Save Your Family From Paying Probate Costs
When your estate goes through probate, some of your loved ones’ inheritance goes into paying costly court fees, administrative fees, attorney’s fees and the like.
Many estate plans avoid probate costs by establishing a trust. A trust does not go through probate court, and therefore has no probate costs. With a good estate plan, more of your money stays in the hands of your loved ones and does not go to paying unnecessary fees.
4. A Plan For Physical Or Mental Incapacity
Estate plans cover much more than the future of your money. They also plan for your future if you become mentally or physically incapacitated due to accident or illness.
A good estate plan includes a document known as a power of attorney, which allows you to appoint a loved one to make important decisions for you, should you become unable to do so. An estate plan can also set up a conservatorship to take care of you if you should become mentally incapacitated for a long period of time.
5. A Guide For Your Loved Ones After You Are Gone
Your family is at its most vulnerable after your passing. An estate plan provides specific instructions where everything that you own is itemized and all your wishes are laid out.
It takes the decision-making; guesswork and hunting for documents out of the equation, and saves your loved ones a lot of frustration and confusion. Imagine the peace of mind you can provide your loved ones by having your affairs in order.