You’re going to die. And it’s impossible to know when. Whether a new adult or a seasoned life veteran, you should take the time to plan your estate with a knowledgeable attorney.
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, 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.
For most, end-of-life planning tends to be an afterthought. Usually, it’s not until you become parents (of children or of fur-babies) that you finally understand the importance of having legal safety nets, like life insurance policies or assigned caretakers (whether written or verbal) chosen. But what about Wills, Trusts, Contingency Documents, Power of Attorney (medical and financial), Long-Term Care Planning, and everything else that may be necessary throughout the course of life and afterlife?
Tomorrow’s uncertain. Start planning ahead, today.
Estate Planning Benefits
Choosing where your assets go/who controls them:
If you have assets you wish to pass onto other members of the family, 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.
Choosing who raises your children (and pets):
If you have young children and/or pets, your Estate Plan will ensure they’re provided for, financially and physically. You 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.
Preventing your family from unnecessary in-fighting:
When someone dies without a Will or Trust, relatives may disagree about who should be put in charge of finances or who deserves to inherit what, which can cause unrest. An Estate Plan alleviates these issues, as you’re in control of who makes your financial decisions (in the event of incapacitation) and to whom/where your property goes when you die.
Protecting your family 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.
The gift of 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 when the time comes. 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.