People who depend upon each other take their responsibilities seriously. For a family, that includes more than just making sure everyone gets up and out the door in the morning. An estate plan is part of preparing for life’s realities.
Estate planning allows parents to plan for their children’s well-being after they have gone, regardless of the size of their assets or their ages. It’s not just for the elderly or the ill either. Having an estate plan is important for anyone, and especially for those with people who depend upon them, as explained in the article “Why Estate Planning Is So Important” from The South Florida Reporter.
Estate planning is designed to protect your family from complications concerning your assets when you die. Many people believe that they don’t require estate planning. However, that’s not true. Estate planning is a way of making sure that all your assets will be properly taken care of by your family, if you’re no longer able to make your decisions, due to incapacity or death.
Without estate planning, a court will name a person—possibly a stranger if no suitable family member is available—to handle your assets and finances when you die. This makes the probate process lengthy and, possibly stressful, for your heirs.
With a proper estate plan, your final wishes for your assets will be set out in a legal document. With a will or trust, all of your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries, according to your final wishes.
This will also save your family from having to determine the proper distribution of your assets, which can become very complicated without a will. There can also be family fights from the process of distributing assets without a will. You also need to address possible state and federal taxes. Your estate plan is a way to decrease your tax burdens.
It is also important to remember that if you do create an estate plan, you’ll need to update it regularly—especially if there’s a significant event that happened in your life, like a birth or death of a family member, or a move to another state with different estate and tax laws. Your estate would be affected by your divorce or remarriage or the illness or incapability of a potential heir. Your estate plan should be ever-changing, since your assets and your life can also change.
To be sure that your family is protected after you pass, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as the attorneys in our firm, who can create a plan that will be customized to your family’s needs. An estate planning attorney will know your state’s laws and tax laws in order to help you tailor a plan specifically for you.
It’s vital that you work with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you draft the legal documents, such as a Will, Trust or other necessary documents, that will make certain your family is taken care of, after you pass away.
Reference: South Florida Reporter (June 12,2019) “Why Estate Planning is So Important”