We all wish we could care for and protect our loved ones forever, but the nature of life and death deems this impossible. The best way to ensure the safety and security of those we care about long after we’re gone is through estate planning. Estate planning is the process of determining how property and assets are distributed once we die.
These proceedings are not solely reserved for the conspicuously wealthy, but rather for anyone with assets like real estate, motor vehicles, jewelry, financial products (life insurance, bonds, stocks, bank accounts, retirement savings, etc.), cash, and so on. Proper estate planning is the best way to rest assured the people and organizations you care about can carry on comfortably when you’re no longer around to support them.
1. Protecting Your Beneficiaries
When you pass away without a clear estate plan, your assets revert to the assignment of probate courts. These courts determine how your assets are distributed among your loved ones, creditors, lawyers, tax departments, and so on. As you can imagine, such a process is prone to inefficiencies, incompetency’s, and fraudulent activities, all of which can put your loved ones at a great disadvantage.
This is especially true where large asset volumes, extended families, and young beneficiaries are concerned. Creating an estate plan now ensures that the people and organizations you care about are taken care of as beneficially and efficiently possible.
2. Peace of Mind
Life is full of surprises, and we never truly know how close we are to our final moments. Establishing a clear estate plan now affords you peace of mind, as you can rest knowing that loved ones have their futures safeguarded in your absence.
3. Protecting Your Assets
The safest way to effectively distribute your assets and interests among the ones you love is to have it done through the offices of an estate attorney.
Asset protection on behalf of your heirs and successors involves setting up staggered distributions, discretionary lifetime trusts, mandatory income trusts, and other sophisticated forms of distribution other than outright inheritance.
4. Protect Loved Ones From Unnecessary Stress
If you pass away without a clear will and estate plan, you might set the people in your life up for legal trouble and interpersonal conflict. In the grieving months and years after your passing, the last thing your family and loved ones need is to combat rather than support one another.
5. Minimize Your Tax Burden
It’s a popular misconception that estate losses go toward legal costs; the reality is the most money goes toward estate taxes. Good estate attorneys specialize in setting up federal, state, and inheritance tax liabilities, minimizing them as much as possible.
Finding the Right Estate Planner
Even as we acknowledge the importance of making an estate plan, it’s important to note that your choice of estate planner is just as important. A qualified attorney can assist you in drafting your will or living trust, making funeral arrangements, establishing guardianships for underage dependents, keeping track of insurance plans, setting up powers of attorney, and developing strategies to keep your estate taxes to a minimum.
Whoever you choose to handle your estate planning, rest assured that the decision to set up an estate plan might be the best decision you’ll ever make. Start your estate plan today with the skilled and experienced team at Foley Law Offices.