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5 Reasons to Begin Your Estate Planning Today

When you only have a little bit left in the bank every month after bills are paid, it’s easy to think that estate planning isn’t a priority for you. Lots of people think that estate planning is only for those with lots of assets, but there are several reasons that every adult should have a solid estate plan in place.

1. Protect Yourself If You Become Incapacitated 

You might think that estate planning only protects your family if you pass. However, a comprehensive plan also protects your best interests if you become permanently or temporarily incapacitated. You may choose someone to have health care power of attorney and make medical care decisions on your behalf. You can also name a financial power of attorney to handle your accounts when you are unable to do so.

2. Prevent Family Disputes 

If you pass away unexpectedly or become incapacitated, an estate plan lays out who is responsible for handling your estate, who is entitled to which assets, and who gets to make decisions on your behalf. Without these documents in place, your passing could lead to a family feud. Many people draw up an estate plan simply to protect grieving family members from unnecessary fights over assets and funeral decisions.

3. Keep Assets Out of Probate

Regardless of what your assets are worth, keeping them out of probate ensures that your beneficiaries get as much as possible. Certain estate planning tools, including living trusts, allow your beneficiaries to bypass the probate process. Probate can be expensive and time-consuming, lowering the overall value of your estate.

4. Minimize Expenses

Perhaps one of the best reasons to start estate planning is to minimize expenses. If you do not leave any estate planning documents behind or you only leave a simple will, your estate will lose a significant amount of value to probate. Additionally, those who do not plan for taxes often leave their loved ones with the task of playing taxes on inherited assets. If you plan ahead of time, you can structure your assets to minimize taxes and other expenses.

5. Provide for Your Children’s Needs

If you have children, estate planning should be at the top of your to-do list. Even if you have minimal assets to leave them, you must consider what will happen to them if you pass. In a will, you can name guardians for your children. Without this documentation, the court will have to decide who can serve as guardian—estate planning ensures that you don’t leave your children’s care to chance.

Are you ready to start meeting your estate planning needs? Take the first step now and contact The Elder Care Law Firm, PLLC. We’ll come up with solutions personalized to your assets and goals.

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