Senior couple planning with estate planning attorney in HowellDeveloping an estate plan is a crucial part of preparing for the future. But it’s not just your future you’re planning for; it’s the future of your family, your legacy, and beyond. Unfortunately for many families, estate planning is often something that gets sidelined. People don’t want to have frank discussions about the future, including conversations about money and death. These conversations aren’t fun, but they are necessary.

While you may have an idea of how you want to pass your wealth and assets to the next generation, it needs to be in writing and legally verified. When the future of your estate isn’t clearly defined, it can lead to serious legal complications, not to mention heartbreak and stress for family members and heirs.

When you have an estate plan, you set the stage.

You’re in control.

Even when you’re gone, your wishes live on. You can choose heirs, as well as charities, and direct exactly where your wealth and assets go. This often includes setting up trusts to take care of or ease the educational expenses for future generations.

You can appoint a trusted personal representative or trustee.

You know who you trust and who is capable of handling your wealth when you cannot. When you appoint a personal representative or a trustee, you’ll know your wishes will be carried out to the letter. If you do not have an estate plan, and no personal representative or trustee is named, a judge will appoint someone to handle the process, and it may be someone you do not want handling your estate.

Your heirs avoid probate.

When a written will or trust is not in place, it may enter probate. This process can cause all kinds of headaches for your heirs — including fees, extra paperwork, delays, and possible court appearances. Having a legally sound plan in place can help you avoid the probate process altogether and makes the process significantly easier.

Your heirs avoid tax surprises. 

While your heirs may still have to deal with some taxes on an inheritance, the right planning can help them avoid paying excessive taxes. This includes estate taxes or income tax.

When it comes down to it, it’s vital to have the estate planning conversation with your family and an estate planning professional. Get the details in writing, and set yourself and your heirs up for future financial success.

Post A Comment