An Estate Plan is More Than a Nice Idea
Less than half of Americans have a will and even less have a comprehensive estate plan.
We know there are many reasons that people put off estate planning or avoid it altogether. Life might be busy, they might think their estate is too small, or it just may seem like an impossible task. If you haven’t thought about yours, you should know that estate plans can help distribute your assets and carry out your wishes should you pass away. They can help reduce taxes, fees and court costs that your loved ones may have to pay. Start thinking about your estate plan by asking yourself these six questions.
If you have children, how do you want your finances distributed or managed by your children?
An estate plan lays out how inherited finances will be managed by your surviving children. Additionally, an estate plan can protect children from making questionable financial decisions or being affected by the bad financial decisions of others.
What size estate will you leave behind?
If it includes things like retirement funds and stock shares or involves a business, your estate might be large and complicated. In that case, it might be worth your time to establish an estate plan, so the division of your assets goes smoothly.
Do you want your family to avoid probate?
Probate can be an expensive and complicated legal process for your loved ones. By establishing a living trust through an estate plan, your property will transfer to your surviving family members quickly and easily without probate, allowing more of your property to go to the people you want to inherit it.
Do you want money to go to charities?
Your estate plan will make sure your charitable giving wishes are fulfilled appropriately.
Do you own a business?
If you do, you can legally declare your successor for your business in your estate plan in case of your death.
Do you have any potential creditors?
An estate plan can protect your assets from creditors during your lifetime and after your passing.