10 Ways an Estate Plan Can Protect You and Your Family
The most well-known part of an estate plan is a will. Everyone knows what a will is and that it’s important but many still don’t organize their assets should they pass away. There have been stories of the tension and in-fighting among family members when a will is not prepared. But there are many more reasons why you organize an estate plan.
Ability to Provide for Your Family
If you’re the main provider for your family, an untimely death can put a tremendous financial strain on your family. A will ensures that your finances will be divided the way you want so that your family will be well taken care of following your death. And it’s not just financial. A will can cover everything from who will raise the children should both parents pass away to how they will be raised. If you have children under the age of 18 and haven’t completed a will, a court will decide the fate of your property and children.
Swift Distribution of Assets
The lack of a will could mean that your assets are tied up in probate for a long time. Certain aspects of your estate such as insurance, joint tenancy, and a living trust may need to be distributed as quickly as possible to help your family. Having an estate plan in place can simplify the probate process so that your assets are soon released to your loved ones. It also can allow for a partial payment plan while the will is still in probate.
Planning for Possible Incapacity
Completing an estate plan can allow you to plan for the possibility of being in a state where you are mentally or physically unable to make or communicate your own decisions. If this happens to you and you have not completed a will, you won’t be able to make key decisions on how you’re treated. Creating a living will or having a durable health-care power of attorney will allow you to decide whether or not you want to be on life support. You can also pick which person you want to make medical decisions for you to ensure you get the treatment you want.
Protect Property Transfer Expenses
Creating an estate plan will allow you to keep the amount of expenses it takes to transfer property to beneficiaries to a minimum. Money that is used to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries is money they won’t get. Creating an estate plan will ensure that your beneficiaries get as much of the money designated for them as possible.
Decide Who Will Execute Your Estate
If you don’t have an estate plan that specifies who will execute your assets, you’re leaving the job to someone that may not have your interests at heart. Stating who you want to be the executor of your estate will help you to save money, simplify the asset distribution process, and allow for less of a burden on the survivors.
Reduce Strain on Survivors
A death in the family takes a toll on the emotional state of family members, and while they’re suffering, they have to take the time to plan a funeral. Creating an estate will make sure that your grieving family doesn’t have to worry about the funeral as you will have already handled it. Additionally, you’ll be able to make key decisions such as where you’ll be buried and what will occur during the funeral.
Donate to a Cause
By creating an estate plan, you’ll be able to financially support a cause that is close to your heart. Whether it’s religious, educational, or some other organization, your estate plan will allow you to support the organization during your lifetime and/or following your death. There are also tax laws that are designated to encourage private philanthropy of which you’ll be able to take advantage.
Lower Estate Taxes
Whenever you leave your estate to someone, there are taxes on that transfer. These taxes take away from the money that goes to your beneficiaries. An estate plan can limit the amount of your estate that is spent on taxes and maximize the amount of your estate that can go to your loved ones.
Help Family Members in Need
If you suffer an unexpected death, you may be worried about what will happen to those close to you that depend on you such as an elderly parent, grandparent, or grandchild. Through an estate plan, you’ll be able to establish a special trust that will allow you to support these family members and ensure they don’t go through any additional struggle.
Ensure the Future of Your Business
If you own a small business, that business probably means a great deal to you. In your estate plan, you can make key decisions about the affairs of your business following your passing. You’ll be able to name a successor and ensure that the future of your business is in safe hands.
Creating an estate plan will ensure that your assets are divided the way you want, that the maximum amount of your estate goes to your beneficiaries, and allows you to make key decisions that you may not be able to make. If you are in need of an estate plan, come to Yardley Law.