Having an estate plan is foundational to protecting loved ones and assets.
People are planners.
We plan our routes when driving.
We prepare for meetings at work.
We develop five- and ten-year plans.
According to a recent Digital Journal article titled “What is an Estate Plan and What are its Benefits?,” many people, unfortunately, neglect their estate planning.
They do not understand the importance of having a last will, a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, and a health care treatment directive.
Some people would also benefit from a living will and fail to set one up.
How do people know what to include in an estate plan?
The best thing a person can do is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
The attorney will be able create an estate plan to meet the specific needs of you and your family.
When developing a plan, you will need to decide who will serve as guardians for minor children and who will inherit your possessions.
Once you have these choices made, you can begin discussing the best ways to minimize your tax liability.
The worst financial estate planning decision you can make is to not create a plan.
Without even a last will and testament, the probate judge will divide your assets, designate an executor, and select your guardian according to the laws of your state.
You will not only be leaving these important decisions to the government, but you will also drain the value of the estate.
Intestacy proceedings can be drawn out and expensive.
If you do not create an estate plan in advance, you may also be subjecting your loved ones to stress and fighting among themselves.
The best way to protect you and your loved ones emotionally and physically is to create a strategic estate plan to address your specific concerns.
Effective estate planning not only involves planning for your death.
It also includes incapacity planning.
Through medical and financial power of attorney documents, you can designate someone to manage your money and make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.
Estate planning for small business owners should also include business succession planning.
Doing so ensures your customers, employees, and income stream are protected.
If you do not yet have an estate plan, call an experienced estate planning attorney today to take the necessary steps to protect your loved ones and give yourself peace of mind.
Reference: Digital Journal (Sep. 2, 2021) “What is an Estate Plan and What are its Benefits?”