Why You Should Create an Estate Plan Even If You Are Not Rich
Many people believe that in order to need an estate plan, they should own a mansion on a massive plot of land, a multinational corporation, a fleet of yachts, and a handful of champion racehorses. This belief is far from the truth.
Anyone with dependents — or even adult children — should take care to ensure that their wealth and belongings go toward the support of or are given to their intended recipients.
In fact, even if you do not consider yourself to have “wealth,” there are many reasons why persons of modest means should have an estate plan.
In this article, we will cover the most common reasons every person should have an estate plan and discuss how an estate planning attorney can help.
Probate is the most common reason to seek the advice of an attorney as you set up your estate plan.
Probate is the process of determining that your last will and testament is genuinely yours and that it was written under no undue influence.
The probate process takes place in probate court. It can be a lengthy and expensive process, compromising your privacy and chipping away at your savings. Having an attorney read, sign, and affirm that you are indeed the author of your last will is the best way to avoid probate.
Protect Your Assets
When a person dies without a plan for their estate, including powers of attorney and a last will, they are said to have died “intestate.” Essentially, no statement has been made by the estate holder as to what should be done with their holdings and property.
When this happens, the state takes possession of the estate and does with it what it pleases. Drafting a will can prevent this, and designating powers of attorney will help ensure your property and holdings are settled in the manner of your choosing.
A lawyer specializing in estate planning law will help you to put all of these things in place.
Protect Your Beneficiaries
Those with minor children want to ensure that their dependents are cared for if they become incapacitated or die. A life insurance policy alone is not enough. It is crucial to see to it that guardianship is provided for using a guardianship nomination.
In many cases, estate holders will want to protect adult children against bad decisions, outside influences, divorcing spouses, creditors, and more.
Careful estate planning includes methods and means to secure the interests of dependents in any stage of life or situation. An estate planning attorney will have comprehensive knowledge of all your legal options.
Avoid Unnecessary Entanglements
Many people come running to an estate planning attorney after seeing others fail to do so and causing their family or business to suffer significant losses as a result.
By selecting trusted individuals to assume various powers of attorney, you can ensure that your estate and holdings are appropriately managed and dispensed in your absence. You will avoid having your legacy turned over to the state, absorbed by faceless creditors, or destroyed in insoluble in-family disagreements.
You have many options that an attorney who specializes in estate law can help you to choose and set up.
Reduce Your Estate Tax Liability
No matter how much you resent the idea of the state and federal government taking a portion of your estate, it is inevitable. However, it is possible to mitigate tax-related losses through careful estate planning.
You can reduce the tax burden on your estate through trusts, as part of your will, or as a revocable living trust. You have many tax-liability-saving options open to you through advanced estate planning methods.
And the good news is that they are easier to understand than you might think. Why does this matter? The more money you do not send to Uncle Sam, the more you can pass on to those you love!
Start Your Estate Planning Today
To learn more about how estate planning will help to protect even modest estates and your dependents if you should die or become incapacitated, get in touch with the estate law professionals at Atlanta Wills & Trusts today.