What happens when you die? You don’t know that and neither can you prepare adequately for it. However, you can prepare and plan what happens to your loved ones after you are no longer there. You would want to be in control of the finances and who is to receive what and when. Also, you would want it to happen with the least amount of legal hassles, taxes, and harassment. If you need an estate attorney visit http://www.thomasmckenzielaw.com to learn more.
Providing financial stability to the family and ensuring that they are taken care of is one of the main reasons behind Estate Planning. While the emotional void created by untimely death cannot be filled, it certainly gives peace of mind to know that your children will not be left to Social Security or dependent on legal proceedings. It also helps in making sure that your wishes are respected and carried on, be it your favorite charity or how you want your legacy to be carried on. You can formulate a plan that takes care of your business and ensure it continues to function through designated heirs even after your death.
Without proper planning, your loved ones might end up paying a lot out of their inheritance in taxes, probate fees, and court fees, and of course, the lawyer. One major aim is to transfer assets to the intended heir ensuring minimum possible inheritance tax burdens. Also without proper documentation, assets become public information and need a probate court to settle the matter leading to a loss in privacy and added taxes. Along with all these stresses, the time it takes for the legal proceedings and the delay in getting the inheritance, is in itself a bother.
Another big reason for estate planning is that it enables you to prepare for any disability that may happen in the future. It ensures that you choose the person who takes care of your assets in case you are rendered incapable. In such a scenario, you would want both you and your assets to be looked after. In the absence of any such provision, the asset may go to a legal guardian who might not be suitable to either take care of you or your assets.
Setting expectations and avoiding a mess by deciding and enumerating the what, who, and when of your estate can go a long way towards avoiding family fights and unpleasantness. This is of vital important in case of blended families where the biological family’s inheritance is at stake in case the spouse remarries and there are step children as well as biological children to take care of.
Estate Planning is also an important tool to make sure that your asset, be it your home, or a business, or simply cash in the bank goes to someone you intended for. There could be times when you would want a significant amount of your asset to go to someone not biologically or legally connected to you. However, in the absence of well laid out instructions, someone you designate as worthy cannot be deemed a beneficiary.
There is no knowing when you would need to do it, but if you want to protect your asset and your loved ones, and save them from huge inheritance tax liabilities, estate planning is no longer just a choice.