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5 Reasons Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Firm News

An estate plan is one of the most essential things to have before you pass away. However, it happens time and time again that most people neglect to make their intentions known with regards to their estate. Even some Americans that have written instructions have neglected to communicate clearly about the issue with their families. According to Advance Capital Management, at least 32% of older Americans have neglected to inform their family about the whereabouts of important legal, medical, and financial documents, in case they might be needed.

Should you pass away without making your intentions clearly known, this can create a lot of havoc and bring more pain and suffering to your loved ones. With that in mind, here are the top five reasons why you should visit an estate attorney and get your estate plan in order as soon as possible.

Avoid Probate

Avoiding probate should be one of the biggest incentives to have your estate plan ready before you die. That’s because if you die without a will, your estate will be subject to a lengthy probate process that puts your family at a disadvantage. The probate process can take over half a year to give creditors sufficient time to submit any claims. In a nutshell, probate is a public affair where your estate will be laid out in the open and distributed as a court sees fit.

Keep in mind a portion of your estate will go to cover the cost of probate, so there will be less left for your beneficiaries when the whole process is over. There’s also the fact that your estate will be distributed according to someones’ wishes, not yours. So it’s important to avoid probate at all costs to ensure your family and friends inherit what you feel they are supposed to inherit.

Protect Your Heirs From Taxes

If you are strategic with your estate plan, it’s possible to protect your loved ones from having to pay a huge amount of taxes. If your heirs are stuck with a large tax bill after you die then it automatically means they don’t get to benefit fully from the inheritance you intended for them. You can prevent this scenario by leaving them money in a Roth IRA instead of a traditional IRA. This will significantly reduce the tax burden that your beneficiaries will face. To make the most out of the situation, it’s essential to find a reputable estate attorney that can advise you on how best to approach the situation.

Avoid Family Messes

Trying to distribute an estate without specific written instructions has caused many family issues. In a time where everyone should be supporting each other through a difficult time, lack of an estate plan can cause division as family members fight each other over who gets what. The fights can end up really messy as people take each other to court.

Protect your Beneficiaries

An estate plan can help you protect your beneficiaries in one of two ways. For starters, it ensures that you can appoint a guardian for any dependent children. That means you’ll have peace of mind from knowing your children will be properly taken care of whatever happens. The other thing is that any other beneficiaries of your estate will also be well provided for. Without an estate plan, you have no way of knowing if they will benefit from your estate.

Protect your Assets

When you have an estate plan your estate will be allocated according to your specific wishes. When you have worked hard to grow your estate you want to make sure your assets are in the right hands and managed according to the future you envisioned when you worked to build your estate.

Communicate Your Wishes With the Help of An Estate Attorney

Estate planning offers all these benefits because your intentions are officially written down with the help of an estate attorney. Your estate attorney will advise you on the best way to accomplish this since your estate plan can include a will, trust, beneficiary designation account, or advance directive.

Establishing your estate plan can seem intimidating and complex, which is one of the many reasons why people procrastinate. Hopefully, the five reasons above have spurred you and you’re now ready to make that call. Get in touch with us directly and we will help you communicate your wishes so you can protect your assets and your loved ones.