Deciding how your assets are handled once you pass is one of the most important decisions you can make. Your estate is built over the course of your entire lifetime—it’s important to feel confident in your legal counsel and the legal team who will be in charge of allocating those assets in accordance with your wishes.
Because the estate you pass on can make a major impact on the lives of your loved ones, creating an estate plan long before you feel you need it is the best plan of action. By planning your estate, your loved ones can focus on more important matters during such an emotional time without struggling with financial allocations and confusing questions.
Writing a Will Vs. An Estate Plan
While many people have created a will to express wishes regarding asset distribution and guardianship, this type of document doesn’t cover all of the specific details involved in the passing on of an estate. A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. An estate plan goes much further than a will. Not only does it deal with the distribution of assets, but it may help you and your heirs pay substantially less in taxes, fees, and court costs during an already stressful time. It’s also important to remember that, while estate planning may not change drastically, the laws affecting your estate may change. That’s why experienced counsel is important when drafting your wishes. An experienced attorney can be aware and up to date on what may be changing that affects your estate.
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Anyone with assets, or a family, should have a will. The decision to have an estate plan is a personal one and depends on more than the potential size of an estate. Consider the following questions:
- Are there children involved?
- Is privacy important?
- If you own a business, have you thought about succession planning?
- Are there special circumstances (e.g., blended families or disabilities)?
- Do you have substantial assets approaching five million dollars in total value?
If you can answer “yes” to any of the questions above, then creating an estate plan will likely be beneficial to you and your family. Estate planning can quickly become a complicated process, but with our experienced team of attorneys to assist you along the way, we can help create a situation that places your mind at ease in regards to your family and their future.