For the longest time, people are more likely to engage in the conscientious planning of birthdays, weddings, and vacations than proper estate planning. Estate planning determines who will inherit assets after a person has died, with the help of an estate planning attorney.
Indeed, it is not a fun topic to consider, compared to checking out restaurant reviews or planning a Caribbean vacation. Still,without proper estate planning, you wouldn’t be able to select who will inherit your earthly possessions when you have passed on. The earlier you complete your estate planning with your estate planning attorney, the better your family will be in the future.
Prioritizing estate planning does have its benefits.
- You protect your beneficiaries in the process. It doesn’t matter if the inheritance is small – if you want your second home to go to your eldest daughter or son, that detail has to be in black and white. Proper estate planning saves people from further grief and stress after a person’s death.
- If you are the parent of a small child and are involved in a fatal accident, estate planning also ensures that your child will have some resources to survive without you. You have to name the guardians ahead of time and specify how inherited assets would be distributed to your child/children, too.
- Intelligent estate planning saves your family from the IRS and tax burdens. The main goal is to ensure that the inheritance will only result in a manageable amount of tax after your death. Believe it or not, estate planning can significantly reduce federal taxes and other taxes (or even eliminate some state inheritance taxes).
- Estate planning reduces the chances of family conflict or inheritance war. Everyone has heard of these, and they do happen frequently. Siblings often fight over the assets, with some claiming that they deserve a much more significant percentage because of the birth order or some other reason. In the end, the family goes into severe conflict, and some relationships become irreparable just because there wasn’t any estate planning,to begin with.
Remember – if you do not plan these things, the court can assign someone to administrate your assets for you after your death. Why risk it if you can have a competent estate planning attorney on your side?
If you’re curious as to how you shouldn’t be doing your estate planning,check out these common missteps:
- Allowing the judge to appoint essentially anyone they choose to administer your state after you are gone.
- Directing that your assets be all converted to cash regardless of the prevailing market conditions or against the professional guidance of financial advisors or experts.
- Leaving everything to your current spouse and children and ignoring your previous marriage/children/responsibilities.
- Allowing the direct distribution of inheritance to a person under eighteen years of age, regardless of the potential for addictive behavior, gambling habits, and criminal background.The natural distribution should also occur irrespective of the person’s emotional maturity and financial finesor his/her capacity to handle a large sum of money.
- Should your spouse and children die with you, as in the case of an accident, give your estate to any living relative who wishes to lay claim to it. These relatives include those estranged for years or decades and relatives whom you have never met.
- And lastly, if none of your family survives, donate your estate to the state, as every state always needs more money because they’re always short of budget.
Without proper estate planning, it is easy to make some serious mistakes in your will. The minor details can significantly impact the outcome of your will, especially if you have not selected the proper administrators of your estate. Noone wants to leave a mess to their family, where additional costs can also become a burden to those you leave behind. It’s your responsibility to act swiftly and be mindful of how you plan your estate so when the time comes,your family and other intended benefactors will be taken care of.
Adequate estate planning involves working closely with an estate planning attorney who will walk you through your objectives. It might sound overly simple, but deciding how to distribute your assets upon your death legally can be a complex undertaking. Let an experienced estate planning attorney guide you through the intricacies and common pitfalls.
During the initial consultation, your attorney will listen to your questions and provide essential guidance. Once you hire a lawyer, you will find both plans after exploring your background and the types of assets you wish to distribute after your death.