Young people are often disengaged when advised to plan for their pension. People who take out life insurance rarely expect it will be needed. Many people spend more time choosing a television than planning for their future. Few consider what will happen to their assets and children when they die. This is not just short-sighted. It can be very harmful to those we leave behind. Let’s check out six reasons why estate planning should be viewed as a priority, and not an option.
If There is No Will, It Will Go to Probate
This is the biggest reason why people do estate planning. If there is a will, it will be clear who is to get what, and the executor will have already been appointed. Without a will, it will go to probate for an executor to be chosen. Fortunately, there is legal help if this does occur. According to an Alpharetta estate planning lawyer, an attorney can help gather assets and valuations, file tax returns, and make tax payments. They can also assist with paying off estate debts and distributing the assets of the deceased.
Other People Will Suffer
It’s hard enough coming to terms with the death of a loved one, without having to sort their estate without a will. They say that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a relative’. This is even more true when there is no will! Chaos can ensue when family members start to squabble over money and possessions. A clearly worded will would have put such things beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Assets Will Be Protected
If someone has done their estate planning before a lawsuit occurs, that will have been good timing! If someone’s assets have been established with estate planning, the beneficiaries can benefit while you live, and after you die.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are tragic medical conditions that can affect the elderly. If someone has set up a will in advance, their intentions will have been clearly defined before they lost the ability to make decisions.
Estate Taxes Will Be Reduced
Imagine watching someone’s hard-earned money disappear to the IRS when it could have been avoided. Federal Estate Taxes and Inheritance can take a hefty portion of a person’s estate if things had not been sorted in advance.
Married people can use estate planning to reduce how much Estate tax is paid, using AB or ABC trusts. Revocable living trusts are another valid route to consider. Tax burdens can be considerably reduced, and even some of a person’s income tax can be decreased.
Beneficiaries are Protected
Estate planning can be used to lock up assets and protect them from peoples’ bad decisions, divorcing spouses, or mounting debt. It can identify who will be the recipient of such things as a second home.
If no will was created and the whole thing went to probate, there would be unnecessary legal bills and the courts would decide who had what. It would be tragic for assets to fall into the wrong hands and for the deceased person’s wishes to be violated.
Life can get complicated, and some people get divorced and have children from multiple spouses. Estate planning can allocate finance and assets to the right people rather than those who shout the loudest after death.
The Young are Protected
The age at which someone is legally considered a minor varies from one American state to another. It could be those under 18 in one place and 21 in another.
Imagine both parents dying and leaving young children behind. It’s a tragic scenario but has to be planned for. Who would be appointed guardians in the place of the deceased parents? Estate planning can answer that question in advance. If the process went to probate, the courts would decide. Imagine the future of your children being in the hands of people who do not know the family!
If the parent’s estate fell straight into the hands of minors, there is the risk the money would be wasted. That’s why estate planning is so valuable.
Parents always worry about their children’s future but will do so more if one has special medical requirements. Estate planning can create an individualized strategy to ensure these continue to be met. Money could be put into a trust or spent on something specific using a lump sum payment.
It’s clear to see that estate planning can pay huge dividends, and reduce the trauma involved when a loved one dies. Assets are protected, taxes minimized and the beneficiaries, including children, fairly receive payment and assets. If matters go to probate, there is no guarantee that the same thing will happen. Stress, unnecessary expense, and poor decisions could happen as a result.