If you are like most people, you want to feel secure in the knowledge that everything you own will be protected for your family and loved ones, even after your death. If you do not have an appropriate estate plan, your loved ones may be facing unnecessary tax burdens and other undesirable consequences. If you don’t want to leave important decisions about your estate to the court instead of making them yourself, then discuss your needs with an estate planning lawyer.
What does estate planning mean exactly?
Estate planning provides a way for everyone to prepare for what should happen after your death. What some people overlook is the fact that an estate plan can also help you and your family be prepared for unexpected disability or incapacity. Even if your incapacity is only temporary, an estate plan can provide the protection you need if you are every incapable of making your own decisions.
No matter the size or complexity of your estate, or even the size of your family, planning for the future is important for all of us. If you take care of your plan early, you can choose who you want to inherit your assets when you pass away. Your estate planning lawyer can also help you find ways to reduce your estate taxes.
You don’t have to be wealthy to need an estate plan
Many clients believe that estate planning is only necessary for the rich and famous. However, that is not at all the case. As your estate planning lawyer understands, even the smallest estates can benefit from proper planning. If your goal is to protect your assets, as well as your beneficiary’s rights to those assets, then you need a plan. Remember, the majority of American middle-class families should have a plan in place in the event that family’s breadwinners are no longer able to provide.
With an estate plan, you can be sure that your inheritance is handled properly
The main reason for having an estate plan is to ensure that the assets in your estate will only go to those you want to have it and not to those you don’t. Otherwise, your court will make those decisions for you, based on the laws of your state. The primary goal of an estate plan is to choose which of your heirs you want to receive which assets. If the court is required to take over the distribution of your estate after your death, then it could take several years to complete. Without an estate plan, families are more likely to have contentious family disputes over the estate property.
Estate planning can provide great strategies for protecting families with young children
No one wants to think about what will happen if they die while their children are still young, but it can happen. The best thing you can do is prepare, just in case. Drafting a last will and testament is one of the best tools for accomplishing this. Making sure that your children will be properly cared for if something happens to you, and you want to be able to make those decisions yourself, then you should designate a guardian. That way, if both parents die before the children reach the age of 18, a court will not be left with making that decision for you.
Your estate planning lawyer can help you reduce estate taxes
If you want to make sure that your loved ones will not be left paying more estate taxes than absolutely necessary, then you should speak to an estate planning lawyer now. Another important purpose of estate planning is guarding your heirs against a significant tax burden, one which could be reduced with careful planning.
An estate planning lawyer can help you with certain strategies that will allow you to transfer your estate to your heirs while reducing your tax burden as much as possible. By utilizing the proper exemptions and deductions, you may be able to reduce, or possibly eliminate estate taxes.
Having an estate plan can help you avoid disagreements over inheritances
Determining how your estate should be distributed among your heirs and beneficiaries can be a challenge, especially if you want to make it fair. Without leaving behind detailed instructions about how to distribute everything, the court will be required to decide. In the end, no one wants their families to end up arguing over heirlooms and personal possessions. So, be sure to plan ahead.
Attend a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding the purposes of an estate plan, or any other estate planning matters, contact the Law Offices of Mary A. Miller, P.C., for a consultation either online or by calling us at (914) 939-6565.