We are taking it back to the basics and answering the question- “What is estate planning?”.
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 Should Be Included In My Estate Plan?
Estate planning covers more than just the assets listed above. 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.
Do I Need To Plan My Estate?
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.
It can be overwhelming to think of all these decisions but we are here to help. We make the estate planning process easy and guide you along the way. Contact us today if you have any questions or want to know how to get started.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.