Every person works hard to collect different property, investments, and assets throughout their life. While planning for your future may seem like a daunting task, it’s crucial to have some form of an estate plan prepared in case something happens to you. Creating an estate plan allows any individual to detail their final wishes on a variety of different matters, such as how their property is divided and whom it goes to. This can help you feel more comfortable about your future and what will happen after you’re gone.
Estate planning has various advantages, which are important to note if you haven’t created a plan for yourself yet.
What Is Estate Planning?
Simply put, estate planning involves making legal arrangements regarding your future, your assets, and the rest of your estate so that your wishes can be followed when you are no longer here. An estate plan also can address critical matters while you’re still living, such as creating living trusts or assigning durable power of attorney if you become incapacitated. Having an estate plan in place is critical to follow your wishes properly after your passing. Without an estate plan or will in place, your assets may be subject to your state’s inheritance laws during probate instead.
The Benefits of Forming an Estate Plan
Creating an estate plan can be advantageous for both you and your loved ones. If you’re unsure whether an estate plan is right for you, consider the different benefits of forming one.
Your Estate Will Be Cared For When You’re Gone
One common misconception about estate planning is that it’s only for the wealthy or those with an immense amount of assets. This sentiment is untrue and misleads many people into thinking they don’t need a plan if they don’t have a large estate. Creating an estate plan ensures continuing care for your estate based on your wishes when you are no longer here. From preserving and protecting your assets to honoring your final wishes, an estate plan prioritizes your needs first.
You Can Disperse Assets How You Wish
The assets an individual collects over the years are often meaningful to them, which is why having these assets dispersed properly and to the correct beneficiaries is immensely important. When you create an estate plan, you have the power to outline your assets, what you want to happen to them, and whom they should go to if you want them passed on. This way, you can feel comfortable and confident about what happens to your estate in the future.
It Makes Things Easier on Your Loved Ones and Decreases Conflicts
Grieving a loved one is never easy, especially when you’re trying to handle the legal aspects of it all. Oftentimes when there is no will or estate plan in place, family members become stressed and overwhelmed trying to handle the estate while grieving and dealing with funeral arrangements. This can also lead to conflicts between loved ones who may disagree over the division of assets. By forming an estate plan with a qualified attorney that outlines your specific wishes, you can help to make the probate process much easier on your loved ones and help to decrease conflicts between them, too.
You Can Note Any Personal Final Wishes
Many individuals have specific requests for how things are handled after their passing, such as how their funeral should take place. It’s crucial that you form an estate plan for yourself if you have any important final wishes, notes to family or requests you want to ensure are respected after your passing so that you know they’ll be followed.
Make Sure Those Who Need Help Are Protected
If you are a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian, having a will or estate plan that details guardianship designations for your minor children is critical. While no one ever wishes for something bad to happen, you always want to ensure that those being left behind who need help are cared for properly. Whether you have grandchildren, want to help through college, or have a special needs baby, having a plan in place can help protect them no matter what may happen to you.
Q: What Are the Basic Parts of an Estate Plan?
A: Every estate plan is a bit different depending on the needs of the person who is creating it. Most estate plans generally include a will (which includes asset designations, beneficiaries, guardianship designations, and more), sometimes a trust, designated powers of attorney, and any final, personal wishes.
Q: Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney to Make a Plan?
A: When it comes to estate planning, it is beneficial to work with an attorney who is qualified and familiar with the topic. This way, they can help you to create a plan that fits your unique needs and is legally binding so that you can avoid potential issues in the future. At Stange Law Firm, PC, we have a variety of experienced attorneys who can help you form an estate plan that meets your needs properly.
Q: What Is the Probate Process?
A: Probate is the legal process that occurs after an individual passes away, where their estate plan is read and executed. It involves paying off remaining debts, dividing assets among beneficiaries, selling leftover property, and more.
Q: What Is Included in My Estate?
A: Your estate technically encompasses everything that you own. Your family home, other real estate, investments, retirement funds, bank accounts, cars, valuable art, and more are all considered to be part of your estate.
Start Planning for Your Future With Our Estate Planning Attorneys
At Stange Law Firm, PC, we have qualified attorneys working out of multiple states so that we can help each of our clients and their unique legal needs. We know just how crucial estate plans are to you and your future, which is why we offer professional services that you can count on to help you create one. Contact us today to learn more about our firm and our experienced attorneys or to schedule a consultation with one of our team members.