Many people wonder if they should invest money in an estate plan. The answer nearly every time is yes. An estate plan is a must for just about everybody. You should not put off getting an estate plan for any reason. Here are three reasons why you need an estate plan.
1. Protect Your Assets
Don't assume that when you die everything that you own will go to those you love. If you do not have an estate plan, the state will decide how your estate is divided. This means that the people that you wanted, or assumed, would get your estate may not. For instance, if you have step children, foster children, close friends or relatives that you wanted to get the estate there is no way they will if you do not explicitly say it. Instead, in most cases everything will go to the closest heir. That means that everything that you worked for might not go where you wanted it to.
When you have an estate plan you can choose who gets what. If you want to give things to friends, stepchildren, foster children or other relatives you can do that. This is one reason why you should have an estate plan.
2. Save On Taxes
When you talk with an estate attorney they will help to put your assets and investments into things called trusts. These trusts are one of the best ways to protect your money from taxes. There are death taxes that can take a great deal of your estate, leaving your family and loved ones with less than you intended. If you plan correctly you can gift your estate ahead of time, have joint trustees and other things that will protect your estate from being over taxed.
3. Protect Your Children
If you have minor children, you must have an estate plan. This cannot be stated enough. If you pass away without an estate plan that tells where your children should go, the state decides who their guardian will be. This means a person who does not know your children, your family, or anything about you will choose who will raise your children. This is not a decision that should be left up to a judge.
If you care about your childrens' well-being, you must make sure that you have an estate plan to protect them. Estate planning may seem like a hassle, but the benefits far outweigh the effort involved.