Estate Planning Is For Everyone
When it comes to estate planning, many people have the idea that it is only for affluent families or the elderly. However, they are not the only ones who benefit from such planning. Estate planning will determine what happens to your assets and property upon your passing, and will also aid in planning for tax implications that may occur from passing on your wealth. When it comes planning for the future, every family has unique situations and goals. An effective estate planning strategy can aid in ensuring that your goals are met in a fair, tax-efficient, and sensible manner.
After your passing, you do not want to leave a mess for your family. You may be under the impression that estate planning is too hard or too expensive, but not having a proper plan in place will actually cost more time, more money, and will be a harder task for your family to undertake after your death. Without an estate plan your heirs will have to decide on who gets what, or your estate could go to probate and the court system will make these determinations, taking fees in the process. Every state has different rules in regards to estate planning; therefore, you should consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to ensure your heirs do not receive less of your estate.
In addition, you may not think your assets are important, but they are. Bank accounts, 401(k)’s, property, business ownership, etc., are all assets which will needed to be divided up in the event of your death. By working with an estate planning attorney, you will be able to lay out who gets what assets. Your attorney will also help you to consider tax implications in order to lessen the future tax burden your heirs will face.
It is important to remember that estate planning is a fluid process. A will you drafted 25 years ago may need to be revised to meet your goals of today. Checking the beneficiaries on all of your accounts is also something that should be done frequently, especially after a life changing event (ie. marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, etc.) You do not want to leave your assets to an unintended recipient. State and federal laws also change over time, so even if your life circumstances have remained the same, it is important to check that your legal documents still meet all of your needs.
The need for estate planning isn’t immediate-until it is. Nothing in life is certain, but by proactively preparing for the future you can protect your family in the event of your passing.