Todd thought estate planning was unnecessary. After all, his family and friends knew what he wanted, right? He trusted them to carry out his wishes after he was gone. Todd did not realize how not having an estate plan would affect his family. If he had, maybe he would have talked to an estate planning attorney before his sudden death last year.
Part of estate planning is helping your family manage your affairs during the stressful and emotional time after your passing. It is also about the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family will be sheltered from life’s uncertainties.
Here are 5 reasons to create an estate plan:
1. Avoiding Probate
Just about every person leaves estate assets that have to be distributed through long and expensive probate proceedings. But there are better ways for your loved ones to get their inheritance.
2. Reducing Confusion
Families are often stressed to the limit after a loved one dies. Immediately after someone passes, their family and friends need time to grieve, not worry about probate. Estate Plans make sure your affairs are planned out in advance so that your family doesn’t have to take on that additional burden.
3. Addressing Incapacity
Not all estate planning documents are related to death. Some documents help the testator and family deal with incapacity issues. For example, a durable power of attorney and health care directive allow individuals to authorize an agent to act for them if necessary.
4. Maintaining Confidentiality
If privacy is a great concern to you, talk to an estate planning attorney. It’s possible a trust, a revocable living for example, might be right for you. Wills become part of the public record during probate. Trusts, however, do not.
4. Protecting Inheritance
If you’re worried about an heir with reckless financial tendencies, talk to an attorney about a spendthrift or discretionary trust. This type of trust also helps protect a beneficiary’s inheritance from civil judgments and other claims.
Many people feel a great sense of relief and peace after putting together their estate plans. Push past the excuses that stand between you and a well-crafted estate plan. We can help.