Did you know that, according to a 2020 survey, less than one-third of Americans have an estate plan in place even though almost two-thirds of Americans recognize that having an estate plan is important? The same survey reveals that the primary reason why people do not have an estate plan in place, despite believing it to be important, is because they just have not yet gotten around to it. Now that it is a new year, let us discuss four reasons to prioritize working with an experienced attorney to implement a customized estate plan to protect your assets and your wishes.
- Taxes. Creation of an estate plan may be important to minimize the amount of taxes your estate may have to pay. Depending on the size of your estate and the location of your property, the tax burden may be very significant if the proper estate plan is not put into place.
- Children. If you have children, there may be multiple reasons why estate planning can be important. For instance, one significant reason may be that you want to identify in your will who you would like to raise your children in the event of your death because, otherwise, a court will probably make that decision for you. Another reason may be that you want to be able to decide how your assets are distributed to your children in the event of your death. If you die without an estate plan, the distribution of your assets will likely be governed by the laws of your state.
- Privacy. You may be concerned about the public nature of probate and want to keep your affairs more private. You can work with an estate planning attorney to take advantage of a variety of estate planning documents, other than a Last Will and Testament, that can help you accomplish this goal.
- Planning for incapacity. Estate planning may not just be about what happens to your assets when you die, it can also involve planning for the possibility that you could become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions or communicate them for yourself.
For assistance creating a solid estate plan, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.