Many people feel that estate planning is an unpleasant and morbid subject. They put it off because they are too busy, think they don’t own enough assets, or simply do not want to think about the end of their life. Unfortunately, ignoring these issues today may cost your family thousands of dollars tomorrow. Proper estate planning takes far less time and effort than most people think, and the peace of mind you will get once it is completed is priceless.
A properly drafted estate plan will allow you to make decisions about the handling of your property and belongings, as well as the custody of your minor children, upon your death. An estate plan puts you in control. Additionally, unforeseen disastrous circumstances can be handled according to your written wishes and instructions without costly and time consuming court procedure. An estate plan addresses all of your concerns in advance, leaving no unanswered questions.
Contrary to popular belief, an effective estate plan can actually save you money. Often, many middle-income families underestimate the value of their estate and fail to create an estate plan. By doing so, your loved ones may be subject to an expensive and time consuming legal process known as probate. The probate process, is a set of legal procedures designed to identify your assets, pay off your debts, locate your will (if one exists) and identify your beneficiaries. Probate is very expensive and is paid for by the proceeds of your estate. With an effective estate plan, you can accomplish your goals and also reduce your taxable estate. If you plan carefully, more of your hard-earned assets will go to your loved ones and less to the courts or Uncle Sam.
6 Reasons Why a Trust May be Right for You
- Avoids costly, time-consuming probate.
- Allows you to leave your assets to your heirs over time or with discretion.
- Provides estate tax benefits for married couples; taxes advantage of the lifetime exemption of the decedent spouse.
- Handles minor beneficiaries with more flexibility; avoids blocked accounts and allows you to decide when money becomes available for use.
- Allows you to provide asset protection for your heirs which can be difficult and expensive to do yourself; can avoid creditors, lawsuits, bankruptcies, divorces of beneficiaries.
- Allows you to determine how your money is spent on you during an incapacity; provides conservatorship of the estate and person and the flexibility to expend money as the trustee desires.
What to Expect in the ESTATE PLANNING Process
- Meet with an attorney who specializes in estate planning.
- Gather your information and provide it to your attorney.
- Meet with your attorney to review, sign and receive your estate plan.