Estate planning is not just for those who are middle-aged or only for the rich. If you have a steady job or a passive income, you need an estate plan. The best time to create one is when you are young and single, but even married couples with school-age children should have a plan in place.
You have worked all your life to make a living for your family. Some choose not to have a family, and they would rather that their estate goes to a good cause. Some want to keep a legacy through their lifelong savings. Everyone has a reason to have their estates in order, and an elder care lawyer can help you.
Before you decide on how your assets will be distributed or used, keep these things in mind:
Before you pass away, you want your assets to go to your heirs the way you intend it You might want a part of your estate going to charity, or you want your house and property to go to worthy causes. An estate lawyer can help ensure that your wishes are followed.
You’d like your children or other heirs to receive the money when they are still young enough to use it wisely. By having an estate plan, you can assure that your money will be in their hands when the time comes they need it. You would like to ensure that your children or heirs receive their fair share of your estate even if they are not adults yet or need special care.
To get the best value out of your assets, you need to manage and control them while living. When you retire, you will have less income to use, and your assets might be at risk of being sold. You are worried about losing your financial capabilities after retirement, and you do not want to burden your family with extra expenses by asking for their support. A proper estate plan can prevent this from happening. With proper planning and financial help, you can keep and enjoy your property and assets as long as you want to.
You want decades of saving and investing to last long after your death. Without proper planning, it is easy to squander your money on items you do not need, or you might splurge on your grandchildren. By following an estate plan, you can enjoy your retirement and live comfortably without burdening your family.
You want to avoid additional taxes. Taxes can cut a large part of your estate, and the taxes get paid first before your heirs are given their inheritance. If your heirs cannot pay the taxes, your properties will be sold at auction, impacting the estate that your heirs will receive.
Also, you want to avoid probate court. When someone dies without a legal will or with an unclear document, all the decedent’s assets go under the care of the probate court, where everything has to be examined and divided. The process can take years, depending on how complicated it is.
After you pass away, you don’t want your current debt and bills paid by your loved ones. You might have a mortgage, car loan, and credit card obligations to pay. If you do not create an estate plan, you will burden your family with money problems as they settle your accounts.
You want to prevent a court fight among heirs over your assets after you pass away. You want your loved ones to receive their rightful share of the inheritance without any legal battles among themselves. Estate planning ensures that everyone gets what they deserve. A good estate planner can draft a legal document that defines how everything will be divided and handled after you die.
If something happens to you, you’ll want your spouse or children to receive the income from your investments. If you have children, you want to plan to get their inheritance at the right age and time. An estate planner can help you set your preferences for when your children will receive money.
You’d like for a person whom you trust, but not a family member, to handle your financial affairs if anything happens to you. You want to avoid a court-appointed conservator of your estate. You want a guardian for your children if anything happens to you, and you do not wish to be a court-appointed one.
You have considerable assets in life insurance, real estate, or other kinds of investments that require professional management for them to grow in value. A good estate planner can help you select the right products and manage your money to get the most value out of them.
Estate planning is not only for the rich but for everyone who values their assets and property. It not only helps your assets continue to grow in value even after you pass away, but it also helps to protect your wealth from unnecessary taxes and legal battles among your heirs. It will also help ensure that your assets are distributed to those you want them to go to after your death.