The Importance of Planning Ahead
When most people hear “estate planning”, it conjures up images of vast properties, mansions, and wealthy belongings. However, it’s more than that. Your estate is everything you own: your home, car, life insurance, bank accounts, and more. Estate planning refers to planning what happens to your assets once you’re gone. This isn’t just something for the wealthy or the elderly: it’s important for everyone to plan ahead. Without a plan in place, things can go awry quickly. Here are 4 reasons why estate planning is so important.
Avoid Family Fights
Whether you’ve seen it happen in real life or just in pop culture, we’re all familiar with the horror stories: someone in the family dies, and the rest of the family turns against each other. Fights break out, oftentimes even heading to court. You never, ever want this to happen. With proper estate planning in place, you can avoid these nightmares. By creating an estate plan, you can spell out who receives what assets, and save your family the stress and anger of trying to divide assets amongst themselves.
Save Money and Time
If you pass without an estate plan in place, your state law determines what happens to your assets. During this time, everything you own is essentially frozen. The court systems have to go through each and every one of your assets with a fine-tooth comb. This can take months, if not years, and the legal bills that accumulate during this time can be very costly.
Save on Taxes
Only the ultra-wealthy are typically affected by federal estate taxes, but state estate and inheritance taxes can quickly become a nightmare. The government can unfortunately take a big slice of your estate before it gets passed on. However, you can minimize or even avoid these taxes with estate planning. You can set up trusts, make irrevocable gifts, or establish joint accounts. These are your best cards to play to save on taxes, but you need an estate plan to do them.
Protect Your Children
Without an estate plan, the court systems will play a large role in deciding who becomes the guardian of your child if you pass away without a surviving spouse. In most cases, a surviving family member will be assigned, or, a family friend can petition to become their guardian. In some cases, the child could enter the foster care system. Having an estate plan means you have a plan in place to protect your children. You decide who becomes their guardian, and you can have full assurance you’re giving them the love and protection they deserve.
Estate Planning You Can Trust
The bottom line is that estate planning is an important step to take for everyone. At DaMore Law, we understand that every family is different, and our mission is to help you make a plan that works best for you and your loved ones. Our experienced attorneys will make estate planning a smooth and stress-free experience so you can have peace of mind knowing you’ve planned for your legacy. Contact us today for a free consultation from one of our experienced professionals.