This Article Written for Willhoite Law, PLLC
Estate planning is the process of deciding how to effectively transfer your assets, at death, and during your lifetime. A Last Will and Testament is a valuable tool in this planning. Without proper estate planning, you could unnecessarily lose a sizable portion to a distribution that you did not want to make. While avoiding taxes might be an obvious reason for estate planning, a more important reason may be in its ability to allow you to direct the transfer of your assets after death. One of the primary purposes of estate planning is for you to be able to provide adequately for those people you love such as your family.
Too many, estate planning may seem like a process that only the rich have to deal with. You may believe that unless you have a large amount of money, property, or land, you do not have an “estate”. In fact, anyone who has anything to his or her name, whether it is a car, a house, land, bank account, or merely a few heirloom possessions, has an estate. Estate planning is designed to give you the chance to have your property and possessions passed on to the people that you wish to have them, instead of leaving the decision up to the state. Without planning, your property could possibly be passed on to certain people or in a certain way that you do not approve of.
Estates planning along with the creation of the Wills are among the things that we normally don’t think about on a daily basis. However, we have to consider those bad things can happen to us especially when we least expect them like accidents or terminal illnesses such as cancer. Before these unforeseen things strike you, it is always best to be always ready for it by making sure that all aspects of your affairs are taken care of by the people you love and trust.
Creating a will through estate planning allows you to communicate your wishes to your family even after you are gone. A will is a legal document that specifies who you would like to leave your property to. These people are your beneficiaries. It also allows you to specify how you would like your property to be passed on. When you pass away intestate, the court divides your property according to state intestacy laws. This means that your estate may be distributed among your spouse, children, and other family members without any regard for your precise wishes because there was no written proof of what you wanted. It may just be a major misunderstanding on your part, but to the loved ones to whom you made promises, it may seem like scorn and betrayal. They may be left behind thinking that you didn’t care enough about them to take the time to write a will.
When you decide to write a Last Will and Testament, you must find the right persons whom you can truly trust and who would carry out your wishes and who become legal guardians to your children. These things are very important especially you don’t have a spouse or both of you dies at the same time.
Before you can name a guardian and financial trustee, you must be very cautious with your choices. It is important that you do not appoint the same person as your financial trustee and the legal guardian to avoid the possibility of a conflict of interests. Also, do not name unmarried couples to be legal guardians because they might break up and disagree as to what would be good for your children. If you have been divorced from your spouse, it is reasonable and natural that your spouse might attempt to gain legal custody over them unless your spouse is mentally and physically unfit to care and provide for them.
Don’t let your promises and intentions to your family go unfulfilled. Consider talking to an estate lawyer about how you can draft a valid will and protect your estate and personal wishes. An estate lawyer can walk you through the process of drafting wills, creating trusts, taking care of outstanding debts, dealing with greedy or disagreeable relatives, and more. An experienced estate lawyer can serve as your legal advisor to ensure that your intentions are communicated properly and that your property is passed on according to your wishes.
Once your will has been created and drafted, you must review them on a regular basis especially if there has been a major change in your life. If you have moved to another state, be sure that you and your lawyer are aware of the state’s laws affecting your documents. Always pay your insurance premium and keep it up-to-date at all times and you can change the nominees if essential. An executor must be appointed to carry out your Wills, so make sure you also have a backup in case the other one suddenly changes his mind.
With the other information, you may still be in doubt as to why you need a lawyer regarding issues that seem straight forward. Foremost it is important to know that intestate succession and estates are not that straightforward. Many times there are conflicts between the beneficiaries of the will. An estate lawyer handles the estate as a neutral party with the express purposes of following the wishes of the person who passed away according to the terms of the legal documents left behind and the laws of the state. This also ensures that no one can take advantage of any of the heritors. An estate lawyer understands the tax codes that are applicable in each particular situation.
If you want to know which legal documents to include for your estate plan, consult with the estate planners. These individuals are capable of first listening very carefully to your exact needs in the legal document and thus drafting the document to take advantage of the latest estate planning strategies. They are composed of estate planning lawyers and financial experts that can help you achieve a strong and solid plan. They also have the expertise and knowledge about which benefits you can claim and in the process, this ends up reducing amongst other things, your tax burden and the likelihood of you being disenfranchised during any of the legal processes already mentioned. The experts of Willhoite Law, PLLC would welcome clients who would only want the best estate planning services.