You might ask yourself, “Do I really need to do an estate plan?” Or, “Why do I need to do an estate plan?” If you fall into one of these categories, then this list is tailor made for you. Below are ten of the top reasons to create an estate plan and the benefits it provides for you and your loved ones.
10 – Most often, people equate estate planning with death, but what happens if you become incapacitated or disabled? A properly drafted estate plan will allow you to designate someone you trust to manage your affairs by following your specific written instructions.
9 – On your death, an estate plan can protect inherited assets from lawsuits, divorce, creditors and other claims.
8 – A proper estate plan allows your estate to pass to your beneficiaries without the lengthy and costly process of probate.
7 – A well drafted estate plan can minimize or avoid estate taxes, income taxes and capital gains taxes.
6 – Estate plans often include a “no-contest” provision. Such an election can discourage challenges to your estate plan, giving you additional assurances that your wishes will be honored.
5 – What happens if, after your death, your spouse gets remarried to someone who already has children? By planning properly you can protect your children’s inheritance while still providing for your spouse after your death. You will not have to worry that children or step-children from a later marriage will have a claim to your estate.
4 – Many individuals, especially those with limited financial experience, can make unwise decisions when given an inheritance. They often struggle at making responsible decisions when handed a large sum of money at once. An estate plan can help inexperienced beneficiaries do the right thing with their inheritance, such as getting a good education, purchasing a home, getting a safe car and making wise investments.
3 – A good estate plan provides for special needs beneficiaries by ensuring that they can receive their inheritance without losing their government assistance.
2 – You can actually create your estate plan to encourage your heirs to live well by rewarding them with a portion of their inheritance when they make good life decisions. Additionally, this can protect your estate from depletion by preventing your heirs from making poor decisions with your funds.
1 – A good estate plan can give you peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and your loved ones are protected and provided for.
If even one of these reasons is important to you, make sure you take the time to complete a thorough estate plan. At Morris Hall we can help you ensure that your estate planning accomplishes everything listed above and so much more! Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Contributed by MH attorney West Hunsaker
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