Personalize your estate plan to meet your specific needs.
No one person is exactly alike.
Even identical twins have distinctive features.
I know, if have identical twin daughters!
People have their own goals, families, jobs, and income sources.
According to a recent Cleveland Jewish News article titled “Tailoring estate to specific needs leads to better plans,” a one-size-fits-all estate plan does not work.
There is a wide range of factors to consider when discussing your estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney.
To best personalize your plan, the attorney will ask about your family, your assets, and your priorities.
With this information, the estate planning attorney will provide recommendations based on your circumstances, your state laws, and the laws of the federal government.
What circumstances may be relevant?
If you have a loved one with special needs, a direct inheritance could make this individual ineligible for means-tested government benefits and support.
In this case, your estate plan will likely involve a supplemental needs trust.
Not having a last will and testament means you die intestate.
When you die intestate, your assets may be distributed according to the generic estate planning laws of your state of residence.
The laws of the state could funnel your inheritance to an heir you would not have chosen or in a way you would not prefer.
The state may also give guardianship of your child to someone who does not share your values.
By not taking the time to create and personalize an estate plan, settling your estate will take more time, cost more in fees and even taxes, and leave your loved ones with more stress.
Using an online template for a last will and testament, rather than using an attorney to personalize your estate plan, will have similar results.
Some states do not recognize an online will.
You may miss important details or create unintended consequences.
What may be enticing to save money upfront can remove a larger portion from your estate later.
After you die, you will be unable to make changes to your estate plan.
Contact an experienced estate planning attorney now to personalize your plan and better protect your loved ones.
Reference: Cleveland Jewish News (Dec. 9, 2020) “Tailoring estate to specific needs leads to better plans”