Many adults in America draft a will and believe they have completed their estate planning tasks. While a will is a very important part of an estate plan, it is just one piece of a comprehensive puzzle.
Having an estate plan is essential for those who want to protect their assets. An estate plan can also ensure that their loved ones receive their assets after their death. Yet, many people believe estate plans are only for the super-rich.
In reality, you do not need to be rich, nor do you need to have a ton of assets to benefit from an estate plan.
Depending on a will to single-handedly take care of your estate is one of the most common mistakes made. A comprehensive estate plan includes additional crucial documents, such as:
- An advanced medical directive
- A living trust
- A power of attorney
These legal documents allow others to make important decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. A full estate plan ensures that your assets go to the people you choose. Without it, the state probate court will determine how to split your assets.
Why You Should Supplement Your Will
When estates lack a comprehensive estate plan, relatives, attorneys or even judges often make decisions on the decedent’s behalf. These decisions may not be ones the decedent would choose.
A will is definitely helpful when you die. If you have minor children, a will is crucial for naming a guardian for the children. Wills also have other functions in your overall estate plan.
Yet, depending on your exact circumstances, a trust could fit your needs more closely. This might be the case if you are leaving money to an individual with a disability or if your heirs have special needs or circumstances.
When a Will Is Insufficient
If you want to build the strongest legacy possible, having just a will may not be sufficient. A will cannot:
- Completely protect your assets
- Address incapacity or end of life issues
- Avoid estate taxes
- Allow for a fast transfer of assets
- Avoid probate
Furthermore, dissatisfied beneficiaries are very likely to contest a will. Wills are often the most easily contested estate planning documents. Depending solely on a will may leave your legacy vulnerable.
How an East Norriton Estate Planning Law Firm Can Help
Now is the time for you to reach out to an experienced East Norriton estate planning law firm to determine the documents you need in your estate plan. Those documents will, at a minimum, include a will, possibly a trust, and an advanced medical directive.
No one ever expects to become incapacitated, yet it can happen in an instant. When you have an estate plan in place, you get to make those important decisions for yourself, naming a trusted person to carry out your wishes. Do not wait. No matter your age, you will definitely benefit from having an estate plan in place.
To learn more, call our 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.