Estate planning is an important yet oftentimes overlooked step that all people should take as they get older and get their affairs in order. Yes, most of us know that we should create a Last Will or name an executor to our estate, but how many people focus on estate planning as an essential part of making sure that they are prepared for the future? If you are interested in settling your affairs – including your assets and debt – you should seriously consider estate planning as soon as possible. For more information on estate planning, read on!
Everyone has an “estate”, even if they don’t think that they do. Any of your property can be considered an estate, not just real estate, although this is what most people think of when they think of an estate. Your estate could consist of:
- Bank accounts.
- Real estate.
- Your stock.
- Personal property.
- Life insurance policies.
To make sure that your property and wishes are taken care of when you pass away, you should focus on estate planning when you go to make your Will or trust. A proper estate plan can answer important questions such as:
- What property does the deceased own?
- What is the deceased’s financial situation like?
- Who will take care of minor children?
- Who gets what property?
- What does the tax look like in order to transfer property?
- What were the deceased’s wishes when it comes to funeral arrangements?
Answering these questions in an estate plan can make the process of dividing assets and making funeral arrangements much easier. Other benefits of creating an estate plan include:
- Avoiding the costs and time commitment of the probate process.
- Dictating any life-prolonging medical assistance that you want to receive.
- Minimizing your taxes.
- Ensuring that your property will quickly and easily be passed along to the people you want it to be given to.
- Helping your family understand how you want any debt that you still have to be dealt with upon your death.
These are some of the basic benefits of creating an estate plan. If you are interested in discussing your planning options with a lawyer, he or she can help you determine if a trust, a Will, an estate plan, or a combination of these options, is right for you. For your own peace of mind, and to save your loved ones a lot of time and frustration, an estate plan might be the right choice for you.
If you would like to discuss the estate plan with a lawyer, you can contact me here or at 203-713-8877. I can meet with you during a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation. Thank you.