No one likes to think about planning for the final stages of life, but it’s an important step that shouldn’t be ignored or avoided. You spend your entire life working hard and acquiring assets. As you get older, or if something tragic, sudden, and unexpected occurs, the money and property you leave behind might not go where you intended, without proper planning. An estate plan helps ensure your will for your loved ones is carried out after you die.
Estate Plan vs. Will – Which is better?
A personal will is a document that can describe what you wish to happen after you die. However, your last will and testament isn’t a legal document until a court order makes it valid. On the other hand, a true estate plan is a more comprehensive testimony which includes your will, but also offers additional protection. If you die without either a will or an estate plan, then it’s most likely the court decides what will happen to your assets.
An estate plan gives you more power in deciding what happens after you’re gone. For example, if you have an estate plan, it will not only specify who inherits any property you own, but it also can specify when that someone inherits, and how it is inherited, too.
Many people believe that having an estate plan is only a necessary thing for the wealthy, which couldn’t be further from the truth. An estate plan benefits anyone with bank accounts, real estate, automobiles, and other assets/possessions, or anyone who is the breadwinner of their household.
Is Estate Planning for You?
Whether you have one or more homes, a large bank account, or a stock portfolio, or not, here are three rather significant reasons you need to invest in estate planning:
1. The Power to Name Guardians for Your Children
If you are a parent with young children, a proper estate plan enables you to name a preferred guardian for your kids in the case you should pass prematurely. It’s a great way to protect your children and make sure they are properly cared for until they come of age. Do you want the court to decide what should happen to your kids should you not be able to care for them yourself?
2. Tax Benefits for Heirs
Having an estate plan in place can also protect your loved one from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) once they inherit your possessions. Just a little planning can help lower the inheritance taxes that might be owed, or the income taxes an heir might be obligated to pay.
3. Maintains Family Peace
One of the biggest benefits of an estate plan is the elimination of in-fighting among relatives should a dispute of any sort regarding your assets take place after you die. We’ve all seen the Hollywood stories (and heard tales from friends) about families going into battle with and tearing each other apart after a parent passes away. Sadly, these fables are true and can happen to even the closest knit clans. An estate plan allows this to be avoided since you specify in detail exactly how and where you want each of your assets to be distributed. You can make personalized plans for each of your loved ones so that everything is clear and legal, distinguishing the possibility of dispute.
Whether your assets are many or few, you’ve earned them and they hold great value for you. An estate plan provides peace of mind, giving you more power over what happens when you’re gone. It is a concrete way to protect your legacy and your loved ones. Foley Law Offices in Livonia, MI has an experienced team of lawyers specializing in estate planning and are available to answer your questions regarding your estate planning needs. Call or click for your free case evaluation today to protect your family’s tomorrow.