So many people put off estate planning, including creating a will until it’s too late. Unfortunately, people postpone it for so long that they die without any estate plan in place, leaving their loved ones to deal with a mess in already stressful times.
Family members are often left with the time-consuming and often expensive task of dealing with assets and debts in probate court. Many people avoid putting an estate plan in place because they just don’t want to think about death, are too busy, or don’t have the money for a lawyer. Whatever the motive, there is no good reason to avoid it.
Let’s explore six reasons why estate planning should be viewed as a priority and not an option.
Your children will be taken care of.
If you have children under the age of 18, it’s wise to consider creating an estate plan to ensure your children are provided for upon unexpected death. You can establish a temporary guardian as well as a permanent guardian for your children.
This removes any speculation within the family about who should care for your children and ensures that your children aren’t worried about who will be looking after them in your absence.
It will reduce your loved ones will suffering.
It’s hard enough to come to terms with the death of a loved one without having to sort their estate without a will. In addition to dealing with emotions that come with death and the stress that comes with sorting through an estate, chaos can ensue when family members start to quarrel over money and possessions.
A clearly worded will and testament will provide everyone with that crucial information without any doubts.
It can help minimizes certain taxes.
Imagine watching someone’s hard-earned money disappear to the IRS when it could have been avoided. Federal Estate Taxes and Inheritance could take a large portion of a person’s estate if things were not planned out in advance.
Married people can use estate planning to reduce how much estate tax is paid, using trusts. While tax burdens can be considerably reduced, and a person’s income tax can be decreased.
Beneficiaries are protected.
Estate planning can be used to lock up assets and protect them from peoples’ bad decisions, divorcing spouses, or mounting debt. It can identify who will be the recipient of such things as a second home.
If no will was created and things went to probate, there would be unnecessary legal bills, and the courts would decide who had what. It would be catastrophic for assets to fall into the wrong hands and for the deceased person’s wishes to be violated. Life can get complicated, and some people get divorced and have children from multiple spouses. Estate planning can allocate finance and assets to the right people rather than those who do not deserve it.
Your family members will have peace of mind.
By getting your estate plans in order, you make sure your preferences and end-of-life decisions are well-documented. If you should become incapacitated or suddenly face a medical crisis, your family needs to know the following:
- Who can make decisions on your behalf.
- How you feel about specific medical issues.
- What financial items need to be handled.
Creating clear instructions saves your loved ones from having to assume and stress about not following your wishes. You can complete your estate plan paperwork with your lawyer and then keep essential records at home for the person who will take care of items on your behalf. Remove the anxiety and guesswork for your family and give them some peace of mind during an already difficult time.
Your assets will end up being disbursed the way you choose.
If you want your assets to be given to charity rather than a specific family member or want your estate to be divided in particular ways, these decisions need to be documented in a will and trust. Otherwise, the estate could go through probate, and state law will make the decisions about how your assets are to be allocated.
You will need to list beneficiaries as desired in your estate documents. You will need to designate beneficiaries with the providers of retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and 401(k)s. Your records should be reviewed periodically to ensure beneficiary information is still up to date and accurate.
You can give an amazing gift to your family by establishing this paperwork early and reviewing it often. When you work with will, trust, and estate experts like the attorneys at Ludlum Law Firm, you’ll be able to easily devise a plan that describes how possessions and property are distributed after your death.
Our lawyers help strategize ways that not only reduce estate taxes but also establish financial security for your spouse and children. We can also help assist estate executors through this process.
Contact us today and find out what estate planning you need to do for your family!