You may be thinking that only fabulously wealthy people need estate plans. That’s a common belief, but an incorrect one. To explain why people of all ages and income levels should think about estate planning, here are seven of the main things an estate plan can do:
- Provide Support
With an estate plan, you can provide financial support to your spouse, children, grandchildren, or whomever else in your life you wish.
- Preserve Your Wealth
A good estate plan will minimize expenses and taxation associated with transferring your assets.
- Settle Your Debts
If you have any outstanding debts, an estate plan can ensure that your assets won’t need to be sold off in order to meet those obligations.
- Support Charity
If you have a favorite cause or charitable foundation, you can leave instructions for a donation to be made after you pass.
- Protect Your Privacy
Without the right estate plan, your will may become public record. That may not be desirable if you or anyone in your family has concerns you prefer to keep private.
- Make Your Wishes Clear
An estate plan can ensure that, through a living will and power of attorney, your wishes are carried out near the end of your life even if you can no longer manage your own affairs.
- Diminish Legal Hassle
Having a clear estate plan will allow assets to be distributed promptly after your passing, minimizing legal hassle and legal expense for your surviving loved ones.
Getting Started With Estate Planning
How can you get started with estate planning services? Experienced lawyers and financial consultants should be involved in the process to ensure it’s all done correctly. There are probably some some specialized attorneys near you (you can ask your local Bar Association for referrals to estate planning lawyers). Keep in mind that even if you work with financial advisors, it should be your attorney who drafts the final documents.
Does this make you more likely to seek out specialized attorneys and start working on your estate plan today? Join the discussion in the comments.