The New Year is the perfect time to think of your family’s future and financial well-being, and one way to do that is through estate planning. By creating an estate plan, you give everyone the peace of mind that your affairs are in order, and they will be taken care of even when you are gone.
What Exactly Does an Estate Plan Do for My Family?
An estate plan is the best way to ensure that your assets and resources will be distributed in the best way, and free of complications or conflict. In the modern world it is really a necessity rather than a luxury to have a solid estate plan.
Here are the main advantages of having an estate plan:
- Maintaining control over your assets by choosing your representative
- Asset distribution through a will or trust to your heirs
- Avoiding probate court and inheritance statutes
- Minimize estate taxes and capital gains taxes
- Provide for minor children through a trust and guardian
- Create powers of attorney for health care and financial decisions
- Create an advanced health care directive to manage medical decisions
- Charitable giving strategies and tax reduction
All of these steps ease the stress and complexity of handling your resources when you die, and gives your family the assurance that you have given thought to your final wishes.
If you don’t make an estate plan, then the distribution of your assets and care of children will be decided by state law and probate courts, and your family may have little say in the outcome. So, making an estate plan is one of the best gifts that you can give to your family members.
How Do I Get Started on My Estate Plan?
Most people will use an estate planning attorney to advise them on the best methods and documents for their own unique situation. An attorney can guide you through the entire planning process, draft the documents and be available at any time for questions or updates if there are changes in your family or finances. Working with an experienced attorney will ensure your family is protected and your plan is developed correctly. The nominal investment in creating your estate plan is truly a thoughtful and useful gift for your family, and you can take time in the New Year to share with them the details. It is a great way to show appreciation and bring the family closer together.
If you have questions about estate planning, or want to get started on a plan, please contact Estate Planning Attorney Andrea K. Shoup at 951-445-4114.