Do You Need an Estate Plan?

Why You Need a Valid Estate Plan

It is not uncommon to be unfamiliar with an estate plan. Many of us do not want to think about what will happen to our property and assets after we die, however; estate planning is an important process for your loved ones. As they will need to settle your affairs when you are gone, it is imperative for them to know what to do with your assets, property, and valuables. In short, everyone needs an estate plan as it protects your final wishes as well as your loved ones in the event of your death. Today, we review the reasons behind why you will need a valid estate plan.

To Protect Beneficiaries

If you die without a will, the court will decide how to divide your assets. This is problematic on multiple fronts. Frist, your heirs may not inherit the assets and valuables you wanted them to receive. Second, if your loved ones must go through the probate process, it could cost them a significant amount of money. Additionally, it will take them longer to receive their inheritance. Third, probate records are public records, so all the information about the deceased’s assets, liabilities, and beneficiaries are considered public information. Avoiding probate keeps your family affairs private. A valid estate plan protects your beneficiaries, ensuring that they will inherit what you have assigned them to inherit.

Avoid Probate

By drafting a living trust and assigning beneficiaries, you will avoid the probate process. The last thing you want your savings going to is probate fees. Nor do you want your loved ones waiting months or years to receive their inheritance. Avoid the delay and fees associated with the probate process by creating a living trust or last will. In it you will leave behind information regarding which beneficiary or beneficiaries will inherit your property and assets.

Additionally, probate forces a family to go through the court system, which is stressful – especially for a family dealing with a recent death. The family must deal with court fees, which could amount to 10% of the total estate. It is best to avoid probate when possible.

Reduce Inheritance Taxes

Transferring assets and property to your heirs reduces the amount of estate taxes and state inheritance taxes they will have to pay. There are also ways to decrease the income tax beneficiaries might have to pay. Without a plan in place, your heirs could owe a substantial amount of money in taxes.

Eliminate Potential Disputes

To avoid family disputes, it is essential to put an estate plan in place. One family member may feel entitled to more of your estate than another, which could be problematic for the health and wellbeing of the family in general. Additionally, this could result in court time where family members may have to battle one another in the event they cannot come to an agreement. You can stop this behavior before it starts, by creating an estate plan that clearly details who will inherit what.

Consult with Our Experienced Attorneys Today

Deciding how to divide your estate is a crucial component to estate planning. While this is a task you must do yourself, you can still seek legal guidance with the process of estate planning itself. If you have any questions or concerns about how to start or modify an estate plan, do not hesitate to contact our office today. We will help ensure your family and loved ones are well protected for the future.

Contact our office online or call us directly at (801) 901-7046 to book a consultation.