Estate Planning is planning for the future today. You can take control of future decisions and empower others to assist you with them. It is the ability to choose who will receive your assets when you are no longer around. Finally, it is your way to safeguard and plan for your loved ones ahead of time. Everyone needs a plan. This is your chance to create yours!
In simple language, Estate planning is about making plans for unforeseen circumstances during life and transferring your estate/property/money after your death. You must know that your estate doesn’t just include real estate; it also provides everything you have amassed during your life. It can consist of cash, furniture, clothes, jewelry, investments in bonds, shares in stocks, and even pets.
Estate Planning Goals
- The first goal of Estate Planning is to cover you during life and the potential unforeseen circumstances such as illness and dementia,
- The second goal is to assign Guardians for your minor children,
- The third goal of Estate Planning is to cover the transferring of your estate to your beneficiaries,
- The fourth goal is to create a layer of asset protection and to implement tax mitigation strategies.
Estate planning is about making a set of legal documents to cover your wishes during life and after death. A good estate plan may also include insurance policies such as life insurance. Life insurance can help with instant liquidity for your loved ones to assist with funeral expenses and some living costs when you are no longer around.
Estate Planning FAQ
Why do I need an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is essential for every individual who owns any type of property or asset, has minor children, wishes to empower someone to make healthcare or financial decisions in the event they cannot do it for themselves or enjoys having the choice of who inherits their belongings. Estate planning is also essential for high-risk professionals such as doctors. Planning for your family creates a layer of asset protection and can help in the event of a frivolous lawsuit.
Is Estate Planning only for the wealthy?
No! Estate planning is essential for everyone and anyone. A huge misconception is that only the wealthy need estate planning. Do you have minor children? If something were to happen to you and your spouse, who would take care of them? Are you single, divorced, or widowed? If you fall sick and end up in the hospital, who can make any medical decisions if you cannot make them yourself? Do you have furniture, jewelry, a baseball card collection, or any sentimental artifacts you wish to leave to someone specific? If yes, then you need estate planning!
Why is Estate Planning Important to me?
It is essential because it gives you the freedom to pick what you want to do with your asset/estate when you are gone. It is also necessary if you don’t want to put your family and loved ones’ security at risk after your death. For example, do you have adult children from a previous marriage that you love and care for? Can you imagine that without proper estate planning, they may inherit very little or perhaps nothing?
What if I don’t plan my Estate?
If you don’t have proper estate planning, your family will be subject to administrative proceedings after your death. Each state has a set of intestacy laws, and your estate will be subject to them. This is a timely and costly process, and the results may not be the same as your wish. Under such laws, the state will determine who gets what based on their relationship with you.
When is the best time to plan your estate?
Right now! What are you waiting for? Estate planning is essential, and no one can predict when it will come into play. If planning for minor children, yourself, or your family in the event of death is not enough, then remember the costs associated with not planning are greater than those with planning. The current gift tax exemption is at an all-time high and will be a grandfather for those who plan now. If you have dementia without a power of attorney, your family will have to file for legal guardianship to access your finances or make decisions on your behalf; this can take 6-24 months and is costly. The cost of probate and the time associated with it is the same, if not more significant, than that of creating a Will/Trust. Planning works best when done early on!
To sum it up, estate planning is for all, and it is never too early to start planning. Our experienced lawyers are here to help and offer free consultations. Everyone is different; people’s assets, ages, plans, and wishes tend to differ. So call us today to schedule your free appointment, and let us custom-tailor a plan that best fits you.