We know that no one likes to think about death, especially their own. Which is why many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. Because it’s for when you die, right? Wrong! When done with a Personal Family Lawyer, creating an estate plan makes your life better.
Here are some of the things that estate planning does for you while you are alive:
- Gets you thinking about the real meaning of your life, what you want to pass on beyond your life and what’s most important to you to do now;
- Gets you thinking about how you want to be cared for at the end of your life and lets you name someone to make those good decisions for you;
- Has you think about your money, who you want it to go to, how you want it handled, what you want it to do in the world after you aren’t here;
- Names someone to care for your children in case you can’t;
- Helps you minimize taxes;
- Lets you provide for a special needs child or other loved one without disrupting their governmental benefits;
- Protects your assets from divorce – yours or your children’s – as well as lawsuits and creditors;
- Enables you to gift portions of your estate to your children or charities while you are still alive in a tax-advantaged way that inspires wealth creation instead of depletion;
- Helps you plan for your own long-term care in a way that won’t deplete your estate.
Of course, having an estate plan also offers you peace of mind that you have done what you could to protect loved ones and pass on your assets efficiently after death. Having an estate plan in place before you pass guarantees that:
- Your personal property and assets will pass to the people you want to have them
- You spare your family the expense and pain of having to go through the probate process
- Your minor children are provided for in the way you choose, with a guardian named to raise them with your values and a trusted adviser in place to manage their finances until they come of age
- Your assets are protected for your heirs by setting up a trust with a distribution option for when they reach adulthood (or other milestones of your choice)
- Beneficiaries have been named for retirement and other financial accounts as well as life insurance policies so the assets in these accounts go to the people you choose
- The financial privacy of your family is protected
This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, the perfect time to create a plan that spells out how you will pass on your values, beliefs and your money to your children. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.