Your estate plans matter and when it comes to planning your estate, it’s essential to know what needs to be done to protect you and your family.
The rich start estate planning early. They know how important it is to have an effective plan for passing on their wealth to their loved ones. What many people don’t realize, however, is that estate planning is still important for the average American family.
Estate planning isn’t simply a legal tool for the wealthy, it is legal protection that you need to ensure that your family is taken care of after you are no longer with them. The following are four key reasons that estate plans matter to everyone.
- You do have assets that will need to pass to loved ones. If you have a home, a 401(k), a savings account, a car, or even a small business, these assets need to be allocated properly. You can ensure a smooth transfer to your family and minimize any associated tax burden. You probably have more valuable assets than you think. Estate planning ensures that they are dealt with according to your wishes.
- You don’t want to leave behind a mess for your family to deal with after your death. When a person passes away without a will or clear estate plan, your possessions must be allocated according to probate laws by the probate court. This can be a long and complicated process. Your family will be caught up in an extended and sometimes costly legal proceeding until the court can decides what will be done with your possessions– often in a way that is very different than what you would have chosen.
- You don’t want outdated wills or plans to have unintended consequences. Things change as you age, which is why effective estate planning includes regular updates. Too often, people end up leaving their possessions to an ex-spouse or other unintended beneficiary simply because they did not update their will or other estate planning instruments regularly. This can hurt the loved ones you intended to benefit.
- You need to make your wishes clear in case of your disability. Estate planning is more than just creating a will. You also need to establish your wishes in case you are incapacitated. If an accident were to put you in a coma tomorrow and you have not established a power of attorney or created an advanced healthcare directive, your loved ones may need to go to court to make decisions for you. There is also an emotional dimension to this. Making a decision about your medical care is easier on your family when they know what you prefer.
For the sake of your family–and yourself– it’s important to get your estate plan in order right away. After all, you have your entire life to write your estate plan–until you don’t. Call us today at Larsen Law to get help creating an estate plan in line with your needs and desires. We will help you get your affairs in order and keep your estate plan up to date as time passes, so you won’t have to worry about your family’s being taken care of properly.