Regardless of net worth or age, everyone needs some type of estate plan in place -- unless you like the idea of other people deciding what will happen with your property.
In fact, whether you trying to protect your hard-earned assets for future generations or simply want to dictate how your property should be distributed upon your death, there are several reasons why it is a good idea to work with an attorney to create a comprehensive estate plan, including:
- Keeping control: As mentioned above, if someone passes away without an estate plan, he or she will have no say in what happens to his or her assets. Alternatively, an individual can use an estate plan to take back control, whether through a will, trust or other estate-planning tool.
- Avoiding taxes: Depending on how large an estate is, it may be subject to substantial estate taxes. However, proper estate planning techniques can be used to reduce -- or even eliminate -- these often exorbitant taxes.
- Avoiding unnecessary fights: Sadly, it is not uncommon for family members to become embroiled in disputes over assets when a loved one passes away. Fortunately, a thorough estate plan can help prevent these fights from ever arising in the first place.
- Taking care of loved ones: If an individual wants to sure minor children and other loved ones are taken care of, an estate plan can help. In fact, not only can an estate plan dictate where assets will go, but it can also help protect assets for those who are too irresponsible or too young to administer on their own.
- Planning for the unexpected: There are many circumstances in which a person may become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for him or herself, including situations involving serious accidents or medical conditions. Fortunately, several estate-planning tools can help an individual plan for circumstances like this, such as powers of attorney, living wills and healthcare directives.
We should mention, however, that the reasons mentioned above are simply a few of many. If you would like to learn more, you should contact an experienced estate-planning attorney today.