The words “estate planning” may conjure up images of mansions and private jets; however, nothing could be farther from the truth. Estate planning isn’t just for the rich. It is a tool that can help just about anyone protect their assets and safeguard their loved ones’ futures when they are gone. In fact, if you have anything to leave behind, from real estate investments to cherished possessions, an estate plan may be right for you.
Most people don’t want to think about their death. However, if you don’t make a plan for what happens to your assets after death, your estate may end up in probate and at the mercy of the courts. Not convinced yet? Consider these five reasons why you need an estate plan.
#1: Estate Planning Allows You the Freedom to Choose
With an estate plan, you can choose which beneficiaries receive your assets. You might leave your home to your spouse, your car to your son, and your stock portfolio to your daughter. Family members don’t have to argue or fight over who gets what after you’ve passed away. An estate plan puts you in the driver’s seat and helps prevent unnecessary and lengthy legal battles.
#2: Protect Your Family
If you have children, an estate plan can help you allocate resources and provisions for your children. This involves drafting a will, which is a portion of an estate plan. An estate plan can designate the type of care your children receive and which assets from your estate they will inherit when they grow older. Without an estate plan, the courts will have the final say over who will raise your children and how your children inherit your estate.
#3 Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Estate Taxes
State and federal estate taxes can be high and can significantly reduce the remaining value of your estate. With a little planning, you can transfer assets and inheritance to your loved ones with the smallest possible tax burden. This makes the process easier and less costly for everyone involved and helps protect the majority of your estate. In some cases, married couples can avoid estate taxes altogether.
#4 Avoid Probate
An estate plan can help your loved ones avoid probate. Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating your will and valuing your assets. During probate, the courts pay off bills and taxes and distribute the remaining assets among the heirs as they see fit. This can take a considerable amount of time and can cause strife between already grieving family members.
#5 Keep Your Affairs Private
By avoiding probate, a trust plan is essentially keeping your estate private. When wills and trusts go to probate, they become public record. By executing a revocable trust, you can avoid public knowledge of your estate and your intended beneficiaries.
Contact Our East Norriton Estate Planning Law Firm Today
If you are considering an estate plan, it is best to speak to an experienced estate planning law firm today. An estate planning lawyer can help you avoid overpaying in taxes while protecting your assets and your loved ones after your death.
To learn more call the East Norriton estate planning lawyers at Troncelliti Law Associates at (610) 365-4240 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information. We can offer you peace of mind knowing you’ve planned for the inevitable and protected your loved ones and your estate every step of the way.