Attorney Bay Shore NY
5 Reasons Why Estate Planning is Important
You probably spend a lot of time researching and planning the type of car you are going to buy, the vacations you are going to take, and even the meals you are going to eat. While all of those things are important, so is your future; however, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t put half as much time and effort into planning what will happen to your assets when you pass away. In fact, it’s something that you may not think about at all.
Planning your estate definitely isn’t as fun as buying a new car or planning a trip, but it’s something that you really need to invest in. Nobody likes to think about their mortality, but the fact is that everyone passes away eventually. Why not decide how your assets are going to be handled and who is going to get them when you are no longer here?
So many people assume that estate planning is only for the rich, but it’s not. Even if your estate is meager, without a plan, you will have no say in how your assets are distributed. Still not sure that creating an estate plan is important? Here’s a look at five reasons why an estate plan is an absolute must.
It Protects Your Children
Everyone hopes that they will live a long and healthy life, but here’s the thing: there’s no way to predict when you will perish. Accidents and illnesses affect people of all ages, even young, healthy individuals who are at the prime of their lives.
If you’re a parent of young children, it’s important to have a plan for the unthinkable. A vital part of an estate plan is a will. It is in this legal document where you can ensure that your children are taken care of in a way that you see fit. In your will, you can name guardians for children who are under the age of 18 in the event that both of their parents die. Without a will – a vital element of an estate plan – the courts will determine who will raise your children, even if it’s someone that you don’t approve of.
It Minimizes Estate Taxes
Unless you have an estate plan, a large portion of your estate will go toward state and federal estate taxes. In other words, a sizable amount of your estate could be lost. By establishing an estate plan, you can significantly minimize or even potentially eliminate estate taxes. This will ensure that your loved ones receive the majority of your assets, not the government.
It Determines Who Will Inherit Your Assets
It used to be that estate planning was something that only affected individuals who had a high net worth. That’s not the case anymore. Today, it’s important for even those who have the most modest estates to have a plan for their assets when they pass away.
Without an estate plan, you will have no say in how your property is distributed when you die, and who it is distributed to. That is usually left up to the courts to decide. If that’s the case, not only can it take years to determine who will receive your assets, but it can also cause major strife between loved ones. The courts don’t know which one of your siblings will be better at taking care of valuable artwork and who should have access to your 401K benefits. Furthermore, the courts will not always rule that your surviving spouse or that your only adult child should receive everything in your estate; your assets could very will be distributed to people that you would never have considered.
It Secures Your Privacy
If you don’t have an estate plan, your assets will likely become public information when you pass away. Probate court helps people settle estates that have not been planned. When probate court is necessary, personal information that you would have preferred to keep private can become public knowledge.
By creating an estate plan, you will eliminate the need for probate court, which will help to secure your privacy after your death.
It Can Protect You While You’re Still Living
Should you become disabled or incapacitated in any way, an estate plan can ensure that you receive the care that you desire before you pass away. For example, if you are involved in an accident or you suffer an illness and you are no longer able to care for yourself, your estate plan will outline how you will be cared for. Additionally, it will ensure that the person of your choosing has control of your personal assets.
Without an estate plan, a legal guardian may be appointed, and that individual may not provide you with the care that you would want, or may not control your assets the manner that you wish.
Most important of all, by creating an estate plan, you will have peace of mind knowing that your assets and affairs are in order and will be handled how you intend. If you want your loved ones and your assets to be protected, you need to create an estate plan. If you haven’t created one yet or you have any questions, please contact our firm today.
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