Why Have an Estate Plan?
1. It helps you avoid the costs and delays of probate.
When an individual passes away without an estate plan, their assets and property must then go through the probate process in order to be distributed. This generally involves litigation and a great deal of stress, as well as other emotions for the surviving family members and loved ones of the deceased. At the end of the day, the state determines how the estate will be distributed.
2. It helps minimize estate taxes and other transfer taxes.
3. It defuses potential family conflicts over your assets.
4. It ensures that your assets go to the people you choose, not those the state chooses.
An estate plan puts you in charge of your assets and provides you the opportunity to provide for your loved ones as you see fit. Your last wishes and how you decide to distribute your estate will be overseen by your own, hand selected, trustworthy, individual instead of a judge having to distribute your property through probate. Through estate planning, you should be able to distribute assets to your loved ones in a matter of weeks instead of the months or years that probate takes. You will be able to ensure that your family, friends, and even your pets, are properly cared for after you pass on.
6. It helps you specify who will care for you minor children.
7. It ensures that you and your affairs will be taken care of if you become incapacitated.
You can provide documentation of your desires for your own treatment and care, should you become unable to act or care for yourself.