Basic estate planning is extremely important for several reasons. First, a basic estate plan gives you the power to make decisions you believe are in the best interest of your family, instead of someone else making those decisions when you have passed away. It also allows your property to be managed in a way that best exemplifies your values and what is important to you.
Assets and guardianship of children are prime examples of why a basic estate plan is very important. If you do not have a Last Will & Testament which names a guardian for your minor children, then if you die before they are adults, the courts will decide who gets to raise them.
An estate plan also ensures your property is divided as you intend. Without it, your property will pass according to the law of the state where you live at the time of your death. In the event something unfortunate happens, your Will provides direction as to who should take guardianship of your children and who takes care of any money that you leave them until they reach a certain age. Without an estate plan, your children are not protected.
When it comes to estate planning, another important matter to consider is taxes. A good estate plan can reduce or eliminate the amount of inheritance taxes your estate benefactors will be required to pay.
There is a tendency to put off estate planning because death is something none of us likes to think about. Crafting an estate plan can be a time-consuming and tedious and task. However, a good estate planning attorney can prepare a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney and other documents which ensure that important matters such as the division of property and guardianship of your children are carried out as you intend. The cost of a court battle after you have died, both in dollars and family anguish, are much greater than the cost of a basic estate plan. Don’t put it off any longer!