Many decisions we make include: where to eat dinner, what shoes to buy or where to go on vacation; however, very few make decisions involving who will inherit their assets after they’re gone. Although this topic is one that isn’t usually talked about, it is the only way to choose who gets everything that you worked so hard for. A stereotype associated with estate planning is that it’s only for the rich, but this is not the case. Below, lists four reasons why everyone should have an estate plan.
Prevents wealth from going to unintended beneficiaries
Today, it is imperative for all people of all financial classes to plan ahead for the unknown. Middle- class families need to plan for when something happens to a family’s breadwinner (or breadwinners). After all, you don’t necessarily have to be extremely wealthy to do well in the stock market or real estate, both of which produce assets that you’ll want to pass on to your heirs. If you don’t decide who receives the property when you pass away, you won’t have any control as to what happens to the property. The lack of an estate plan gives power to the courts to decide who receives your assets. This process of divvying up can be a timely process and may lack background information that would help them decide who is fit to receive such assets.
Protects families with young children
Very few people think of dying at a young age, but if you’re a parent of small children, you need to prepare for the unthinkable. This is where the will portion of the estate plan comes in. In order to ensure that your children are taken care of, in a manner that you approve of, you'll want to name their guardians in the event when both parents die before the children turn 18. Without such a will, the courts will again step in.
Spares heirs a big tax bite
Estate planning gives your loved ones protection from the IRS. Essential to estate planning is transferring assets to heirs with an eye toward creating the smallest tax burden for them as possible. With the help of proper estate planning, couples may reduce much, or even all of their federal and state estate taxes or state inheritance taxes. There are also ways to help reduce the income tax that beneficiaries might have to pay.
Helps eliminate family drama
The presence of an estate plan helps ensure that family matters concerning assets are settled upon your death. Without an estate plan, there is the possibility for drama to arise concerning what the relatives think that they deserve. Such issues can also lead the family member with the most debt to receive a large sum of money and the dispersion of your assets to be in the hands of the court. It's yet another reason why an estate plan is necessary. This will enable you to choose who controls your finances and assets if you become mentally incapacitated or after you die, and it will go a long way towards suppressing any family strife and ensuring that your assets are handled in the way that you intended them to be.
If you want your assets and loved ones protected when you no longer can protect them, an estate plan should be your top consideration. The benefits of its implementation are many, and the planning process is fairly easy.
Simply schedule to meet with an attorney or fill out one of our estate planning forms.