While taxes are an important element of estate planning, especially for those subject to state or federal estate taxes, consider the following important non-tax reasons to plan.
- Incapacity. Are you going to become incapacitated? Of course, we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us the answer, so it’s vital that in order for someone to make your health care decisions, minimal planning is done. For example, executing powers of attorney can allow for others to make your healthcare and financial decisions should you be unable to do so.
- Divvying Up Assets and Avoiding Conflict. Who gets your assets after you pass away? If you want a specific individual or charity to receive any part of your legacy, they must be clearly spelled out in an estate plan; if not, then the state statutes will dictate who is to receive your assets.
- Guardians. A Will is the proper place to nominate guardians to care for minors or incapacitated people (like parents or grandparents) close to you.
- Managers. An estate plan is how you designate who is to control the assets left behind. For example, in a Trust, you can designate that your sister will manage a certain beneficiary’s assets until the beneficiary reaches a certain age.
- Probate. It is a public process which can be time consuming and very expensive. A properly drafted estate plan can avoid both a living probate (incapacity) and death probate (transferring of assets after one passes away).
As we head into a new year with possibly many goals to achieve, consider putting estate planning at the top of your goal list.
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.