Biden or Trump? Who’s to say. With ballots still being counted up until mid-November (and a probable recount on the horizon), uncertainty’s just around the bend. It’s the perfect time to plan your estate.
What is an Estate Plan? An Estate Plan is simply a set of documents that allow you to dictate who will take care of you, your assets (your pet iguana, bank account, studio apartment, Etsy shop sales, etc.), and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated, and see to it that your assets are distributed the way you wish when it’s your time.
As a fellow Millennial™, I know firsthand how much of our time is spent on social media, meeting up with “friends” in the Applebee’s parking lot, protesting for/against our favorite sesame street character, etc. Not much consideration goes into end-of-life planning.
Unless you’re a lawyer or married to one, no one tells you how to legally adult. The educational system is good for teaching the difference between mitosis and meiosis, and which powdered-wig Caucasian man signed the constitution, but never details what you should do to protect your assets/family from “that drunk driver that rammed into your car going the wrong way on the highway last Tuesday, sending you into a coma from which you might never wake.”
Thoughts of maiming or death (without a proper Will or Trust in place) don’t have to fill your waking hours. Best believe, you’re never too young to plan ahead.
Your Estate Planning Super Powers
The ability to determine where your assets go when you die.
If you have assets you wish to pass onto heirs, it’s essential that you create an Estate Plan. Without an estate plan, your assets will pass through intestate succession, meaning the government will assign where they’ll go for you (typically to whoever is next in line: spouse, child, etc.). With a proper Estate Plan, you have the ability to choose who gets what, among other things.
Protection for your small children and pets.
If you have young children and/or pets, your Estate Plan will ensure they’re provided for in the way you wish for them to be. You even have the power to name the person who will step-in as their guardian. Without a will, the court will choose someone to raise your children and send the animals to a local shelter.
Protection from unnecessary familial in-fighting.
When someone dies without a Will or Trust, family members may disagree about who should be put in charge of finances or who deserves to inherit what, which can cause unrest between family members. An Estate Plan alleviates these issues, as you’re in control of who makes your monetary decisions (in the event of incapacitation) and to whom/where your property goes when you die.
Protection from hefty inheritance taxes.
An essential part of Estate Planning is protecting assets in a way that will decrease tax liabilities for your beneficiaries. Without a plan (depending on how large of an estate you have), the debt can be overwhelming.
Peace of mind.
In the end, the best thing a solid Estate Plan can give you is peace of mind, knowing you have a plan in place for you and your family. If you’re in need of an Estate Plan, contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
Check out some of the Elder Law services SWFL Legal Solutions has to offer you here.