Estate planning is the legal process by which a person’s assets or property will be managed and distributed in the event of the person’s demise. It also takes into consideration a person’s financial obligations in the event that he or she is no longer able to make personal or financial decisions. Assets that comprise an individual’s estate include cars, houses, and shares of stocks, pensions, life insurance and current debt. You can plan for the future with estate planning in order to preserve the wealth of your family, providing for a surviving spouse and kids, funding for kids education or leaving a legacy to a charitable institution. Here are some important reasons why you need to have estate planning now.
To Avoid Probate
This is by far the most common purpose why people seek out the services of an estate planning lawyer. While most have never even heard of probate, they know one thing that it should be avoided at all costs. This comes from horror stories told by other people, by the media or told by friends and business colleagues. The vast majority of people want to avoid a situation where a judge has to decide where their property or assets go in the event of their death.
Estate Planning Can Minimize Estate Taxes
People simply do not want the government to get their money in the event of their death. Your government is paid in the form of federal estate taxes, state inheritance taxes and more. Through careful estate planning, married couples can reduce or even potentially remove estate taxes altogether. Your estate lawyer can help you set up AB Trusts or ABC Trusts as part of their will or a revocable living trust. Also, there is a good number of estate planning methods that your lawyer can help you with that are applicable for both married and single individuals so to help make inheritance tax bills less costly.
To Prevent a Mess
Many prospective clients seek the advice of an estate-planning attorney because they do not want a feud or confusion to happen on who gets what after they die. In order to protect beneficiaries from bad decision-making, outside influence, creditor issues and divorcing spouses. If the beneficiary of a will happens to be a minor, US states require a guardian or conservator to be appointed in order to supervise the needs and finances of the minor until he or she reaches the age of adulthood. You can prevent family issues, including expensive legal costs by taking some time to assign a guardian and trustee for all your minor beneficiaries. If the beneficiary is an adult, but terrible at managing his or her money, a good estate planning can protect the beneficiary from outside influence including his or her own bad decisions.