Estate Planning is for Everyone
The best time to plan your estate is now. Individuals put off estate planning because they think they don’t own enough, they’re not old enough, they’re busy, think they have plenty of time, or they just don’t want to think about it. Believe it or not, you have an estate. Your estate consists of everything you own when you die, including your car, jewelry, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, retirement plans, etc. If you die without a will or living trust, state law will determine how most of your belongings are distributed, and the result may not be what you would want. By forming an estate plan, you can protect your assets and family’s interest in the manner you want to.
No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die. Estate planning should always be done with your goals and objectives in mind.
What are the type of questions you should be thinking about?
If you are incompetent or unable to make decisions, who will call the shots?
Who gets what when you are gone?
Trust…Will… Both? What makes sense for you?
If you have a surviving spouse, does it all go to your spouse?
Who will take care of your children and pets?
Do you want to plan for your elderly parents?
How can I plan for future grandchildren directly rather than have them receive their parent’s share of my estate?
What can estate planning accomplish? What CAN you control?
- Reduce Estate Taxes
- Protect your family’s privacy by preventing your will from becoming a public record
- Avoid a Mess
- Avoid Probate
- Reduce stress for your loved ones
- Protect your spouse, children, and pets
- Choose a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children
- Protect your children’s inheritance who may need future protection from creditors or possible divorce
- Provide for children and family members with special needs
- Protect assets from creditors
- Protect assets from ending up with unintended beneficiaries
- For children, control the time, amount, and conditions for when they receive their inheritance
- Provide enough cash to meet expenses and prevent the forced sale of assets
- Include instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die
- Eliminate family messes when you are gone
- Control all your assets while you are alive and healthy
- Choose who will have the control and make health care decisions for you in the event of your incapacity
Don’t be caught off-guard and unprepared when incapacity or death happens. What you put in writing now can always be changed later. In fact, this is how estate planning should be done as your life progresses. Another benefit from estate planning is having a peace of mind and knowing you have a properly prepared plan in place- A plan that contains your personal instructions and will protect your family. This is one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for yourself and for those you love. Don’t wait – start or update your estate plan today!
Becca Hamilton is a Law Clerk at Charles H. McClenaghan. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lawdublin.com.
The information presented here has been prepared by Charles H. McClenaghan, LLC for promotional and informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to provide, and receipt of it does not constitute, legal advice. Nor does the receipt of this material create an attorney/client relationship. An attorney client relationship is not established until such time as Charles H. McClenaghan, LLC enters in to a written engagement agreement with a specific client for a specific legal matter.
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