What is Estate Planning?
Planning for the end of one’s life is never something that’s easy to think about, but having an estate plan is important for so many different reasons. Estate planning is typically planning for who will receive your assets upon your death, but there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to planning your estate and that’s why we are here to help. Estate planning is making a plan for who will receive your assets upon your death. Your assets include your property, money, investment accounts, personal items, life insurance, anything that you can claim as yours. The reason you want to plan ahead for what will happen to your estate is to avoid probate for your loved ones and so they have a clear plan as to what to do once you are gone.
What’s Included in an Estate Plan?
A proper estate plan will include the right documents to cover your unique situation. Maybe you need a trust to properly secure the disbursement of your assets, but you will also need to plan for incapacity. What would happen to your family or your assets if something unexpected happens to you? In your estate plan, you should cover wishes for your own medical care if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Setting up a plan for who will be your advocate in the case you become incapacitated is also important as this person will know your wishes if you aren’t able to express them. If you have minor children you would also name guardians for them and leave instructions for their care. Even pets should be included in your estate plan so they are taken care of. If you own a business you’ll need to include a succession plan. We will help you to make these difficult decisions and guide you through the right needs for your plan.
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?
A common misconception is that not everyone needs to have an estate plan, but nearly everyone has an estate whether you are “wealthy” or not. Even if you think you don’t have much to your name, chances are you may need to leave instructions for something. Planning your estate is important no matter how modest or large your assets may be. If you think your net worth is too low to have an estate plan in place, consider the costly and timely process of probate for your loved ones. Without a proper estate plan, the fate of your assets is decided by the State in which you reside. This cost could potentially cancel any assets that you are able to give your family. One of the main reasons to have a solid estate plan is to avoid the probate process. Probate is the formal court-supervised process of collecting a decedent’s assets, notifying creditors or the death, settling claims, and distributing the remaining assets to heirs. While this sounds like a standard process, probate can be costly and take a lot of time. When all is said and done, if you don’t have an estate plan and your family goes through probate, there may not be anything left for any of your loved ones that you intended to leave your assets to.
Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?
YES. There are several misconceptions about who estate plans are for. Many think you need to have a significant amount of wealth, have children, or own a business, as a prerequisite for needing an estate plan. The truth is that EVERYONE needs a plan if they are at least 18 years of age and no matter how large or modest your amount of assets may be.
Let Professionals Create Your Perfect Plan
Your estate plan should be designed specifically for you. We are all in different chapters of our lives and no one’s family or financial situation is the same as anyone else. This is why having a professional craft your estate plan is key. At Lexern Law Group, Ltd. we take the time to learn about you and your family. We discuss what your goals for the future are and learn what’s most important to you when it comes to leaving your legacy.