If you are like most people, you probably don’t like to think about what will happen to your assets and your loved ones after you die. However, estate planning is not something you should
put off or ignore.
Estate planning is the process of creating a legal plan that specifies how you want your property, money, and personal affairs to be handled when you are gone or incapacitated. It also allows you
to express your wishes for your health care, funeral arrangements, and legacy. A key part of your estate plan is your will.
Estate planning is not only for the rich or the elderly. Here are some of the benefits of estate planning that you should consider:
Provide for your family
Without an estate plan, your family may face financial hardship, legal disputes, and emotional stress after your death. Your estate plan can ensure that your spouse, children, and other dependents are taken care of and receive the inheritance you want them to have. You can also identify preferred guardians for your minor children and trustees for their assets, so they are
protected and supported by people you trust.
Reduce your expenses.
Estate planning might help you avoid unnecessary costs and fees that can eat away at your estate. With the advice of financial planners, CPAs and attorneys, you can work to minimize estate
taxes, income taxes, and legal fees by using various estate planning strategies and tools. Avoid placing complicated stressful decisions on your family.
If you become incapacitated or terminally ill, your family may have to make difficult decisions about your medical care and finances without knowing your preferences. This can cause conflict, confusion, and guilt among your loved ones. By creating documents such as a living will, and advanced directive, a health care proxy, and a durable power of attorney, you can express your wishes and appoint someone to act on your behalf in these situations.
Ensure smooth business operations.
If you own a business or have a stake in one, estate planning can help you protect your interests and ensure the continuity of your business after your death or incapacity. You can use estate planning techniques such as buy-sell agreements, succession plans, key person insurance, and trusts to transfer ownership and management of your business to the right people at the right time.
As you can see, estate planning has many benefits that can make a difference in your life and the lives of those you love. However, estate planning is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process that requires regular review and updates to reflect changes in your circumstances, goals, laws, and tax rules. It is important to work with a qualified estate planning attorney, financial advisors and a CPA who can guide you through the process and help you create a customized plan that meets your needs and objectives.
The attorneys at Milling Benson Woodward LLP have been helping clients with their estate planning needs for decades. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to handle all aspects of estate planning from simple wills to complex trusts. We work to address your concerns, answer your questions, and help you create a plan that gives you peace of mind and security for the future.