10 Things You Should Know About Estate Planning

No matter how big your estate is, one day you will want to pass it on to your loved ones. Starting that process can be daunting so we have complied a list of 10 things you need to know about estate planning and the importance of it before you begin.

1.What exactly is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is when you have efficiently planned the disposal of your accumulated estate.

2. Essentials for every estate plan.

  • You should make a contingency plan early and have it revised regularly to ensure optimal benefit to the beneficiaries.
  • Plan on passing on the estate along with other family values and principles after the estate holder has passed.
  • Have instructions regarding the disposal of the estate in the case that there is emergencies or special requirements of loved ones.
  • Have provisions in-place for life insurance, disability insurance and instructions for care in case there is a developed disability nearing death.
  • You should have guardians assigned for minor children.
  • You should plan to minimize taxes and expenses of transfer of business.

3. Why everyone needs to have an estate plan in place. 

Life is short and has no guarantees. When there is an estate plan in place it helps to make sure that your loved ones are cared for and that the distribution of your estate will be as easy as possible.

4. We are always planning everything that we will do so why shouldn’t we plan for the unknown. 

Everyday we are planning something whether it be what we are having for dinner or what we are doing this upcoming weekend. It is important to have a plan in place for when you won’t be there for your loved ones.

5. If you have not put a plan in place before the state you live in will do it yourself.

Disability

If you become incapacitated and your name is the only one on the assets the court controls the use of assets and will appoint a guardian to oversee the care of the assets.

Death

If an estate plan is not placed when you pass away your assets will be distributed according to the probate. This could mean that your spouse will only receive a portion of the estate. Along with that any minors you have will their inheritance of minors is controlled by the court.

Guardianship

If you don’t have an estate plan in place then your loved ones can be at a great loss. If you and your spouse both pass away then your children could be assigned a guardian who might not be the best fit for them.

6. What’s a  living trust and what is the impact of it?

A trust is an agreement in which a trustee holds the assets as a nominal owner for the good of the beneficiaries and having a trust can be formed to avoid probate court.

7. Estate planning help you organize what matters.

When you begin the process of estate planning it helps you to organize all your financial records, insurance policies, and titles that you will be given to beneficiaries. It is important to be organized when you are estate planning so no mistakes are made.

8. Estate planning is worth the expense.

Estate Planning will come with some fees but in the long run, having an estate plan will save you and your family money.

9. Start planning your estate now.

It is always best to start early and regularly update your plan. Life is unpredictable so it is better to be safe than sorry.

10. Having an estate plan gives you a piece of mind.

When you have an estate plan in place you will be assured that your loved ones will be taken care of after you are gone.

Working with an estate planning attorney ensures your wishes will be fulfilled no matter what happens in the future. At Smith Barid we are here to ensure that no detail is left untouched. If you’re ready to start planning for the future give us a call today at 912.352.3999

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