Do I Need Estate Planning?
Everyone MUST do at least some basic Estate Planning. Not to do so is irresponsible and puts you and your family in a state of uncertainty and vulnerability.
If you do not have an estate of great value that is even more reason to plan so you protect and preserve that which you do have. Regardless of the size of your estate there are loved people in your life that need to be provided for.
Your VOICE setting forth your INTENT and DIRECTION needs to be heard should you become incapacitated (stroke, Alzheimer’s, accident, etc.) or die. For your voice to be heard, your intent and direction must be reduced to writing in compliance with the law. If your intent and direction are not legally reduced to writing, your voice will not be heard and resort must be made to the probate code ( the "legislature's" direction), which will never reflect your personal desires. Moreover, when you do no planning court involvement in your life or your estate is almost a certainty.
Important issues covered by an Estate Plan
- Disposition of Assets- You can direct who is to receive what type of assets at the time of your death. The timing of the receipt of assets may also be incorporated. For example, you may have minor children and not want those children to receive their distribution until they reach certain ages, or a number of years after your death, or have attained certain milestones.
- Your Family- Arranging your affairs so your spouse and children will receive specified assets and be used for their benefit is essential. You should name guardians to raise your minor children or handle assets left to them, in the event both spouses are deceased or become incapacitated. One of the lasting memories your family will have of you is how you left your affairs at your death.
- Court Avoidance- Many clients prefer not to have their estate become a public record and go through a court probate process. Accordingly, many clients are implementing revocable trusts to avoid the court probate process. Also, durable power of attorney (asset and health care) are used to avoid court conservatorships in the event you become incapacitated.
- Estate Taxation- The value of your estate should be analyzed and if necessary, a plan implemented to reduce or eliminate federal estate taxation.
- Income Taxation- Your surviving spouse or children may inherit your assets. If they later decide to sell the assets, you would like them to pay as little income taxation as possible. Vesting assets with the proper title can help reduce future income taxation to your survivors.
- Creditor Protection- Lawsuits are becoming pervasive and some are frivolous. Part of your estate plan may implement certain asset protection techniques to help protect and preserve assets from creditors.
- Grandchildren- Planning for future generations can be easy and produce phenomenal results, both financially and personally.
For over 30 years, our law firm has been concentrating in the areas of estate planning, real estate, business and estate administration. We are here to provide you with professional and personal service so your family can have the legal security it deserves and provide you with “Peace of Mind.”
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