Often when people hear “estate” it forms pictures in their minds of grandiose homes, luxury vehicles, and an abundant cash flow. This misconception often leads people to believe that they do not need an estate plan. The truth is, estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Everyone can benefit from an estate plan, even those of modest means.
What is My Estate?
In simple terms, your estate is everything you own:
- Bank Accounts
- Personal Possessions
A basic estate plan will lay out what is to be done with these items after your death. It will provide directions for your heirs as to who gets what, and when. A good estate plan will include much more, for example:
- Directions in the case that you become incapacitated or disabled before you die
- Who will be the guardian of any minor children should you die unexpectedly
- Trusts for any children with special needs
- Plans to minimize taxes
A good estate plan will also be an ongoing process. Over the years you will likely experience significant life changes that will require updates to your plan. Even if there are no big changes, you should review your estate plan every few years to ensure all information is correct.
Don’t Put Your Family Through Probate
If you don’t create an estate plan, your family will have to go through probate. Probate is the court-supervised legal process of transferring assets after a person dies. This process can be lengthy, costly, and ultimately the court will decide how your assets are dispersed. You may not have a lot to leave behind, but there is no reason to make things complicated for those you love.
Your Peace of Mind
We have no way of predicting how long we will live, and that’s stressful, but having a plan can take that weight off your shoulders. Working with an Estate Planning Attorney can simplify things for you even more. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, and neither are estate planning attorneys. A good Estate Planning Lawyer will help you develop a well-rounded plan so you can rest assured that no detail has been missed.
If you’re in the Savannah, Georgia or Coastal Georgia area and would like help creating an estate plan click here.