4 Reasons Everyone Needs an Estate Plan
By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
We’ve all heard the hype. And the confusing information. Some people tell you one thing. Others tell you something else. The information on estate planning, what it is, and who needs it varies greatly.
Our goal is to help you sort that information out and figure out what works for you.
Spoiler alert: Yes, even you. Yes, you. You, right there. You need an estate plan.
Here are 4 reasons everyone needs an estate plan.
(1) Help Your Family Avoid the Costs and Stress of Probate
Probate is a court process that transfers the title of assets of a deceased person to his or her heirs. It is a long, costly process. Probates in Oklahoma often cost families more than $4,000 to $5,000.
Avoiding probate is one of the top reasons people choose to make an estate plan. Many wrongfully believe that having a Last Will and Testament allows your family to avoid probating your estate.
Whether you have a Will in place, or nothing at all, your estate will go through probate.
There are probate avoidance techniques a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can share with you- including payable on death options and trusts.
Speak to an estate planning attorney to help you sort out the best method for your family to avoid probate.
Find out some considerations for your modern family here.
(2) Keep Your Assets and Needs Organized for Your Family
Many people do not realize that if you don’t prepare documents stating what your assets are and where they will go, the State will make that decision for you.
Also, if you are unable to make decisions for yourself and you have not named an attorney-in-fact through a Durable Power of Attorney, and healthcare proxy through an Advance Directive, your family will have to go to court to help you. Then, they’ll have to file annual reports for the Court to review and approve and have Court permission to do many things on your behalf.
Help your family avoid all that and save the costs of Guardianship (about $5,000, at least) by preparing your estate planning documents ahead of time.
(3) Protect Your Heirs
Your estate plan allows you to name someone to take care of your children who are under the age of 18 (minors). This is very important for families with young children- especially if there’s someone you wouldn’t want caring for your children.
If you have minors who may inherit from you, heirs with Special Needs, or adults who have questionable decision-making skills, you will want to consider a Trust for your estate plan as well.
Trusts allow you to put restrictions on how and when your assets are distributed. The right trust can also help your loved one with Special Needs avoid problems with their benefits when they inherit from you.
Your estate plan is the perfect way to protect your heirs from others, and sometimes themselves.
(4) Keep Your Assets Safe
Estate planning can be used to protect your assets as well as your heirs. If you have a concern about creditors, own a business, or have a professional license, you may be more concerned with the asset protection estate planning can provide for your family.
Protecting your assets with estate planning is complicated and complex. Consult a trusted, knowledgeable attorney for asset protection planning.