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Estate Planning: Why Take It Seriously?

by Nebojša Vujinović

Estate planning is not only for the ultra-wealth people or the very old ones. No matter your age or financial status, you can benefit from creating an estate plan if you have assets to leave and individuals to leave them to. You probably know you need a plan should an unforeseen event happen. However, you may not know what is involved when creating an estate plan. In this case, you need an estate planning lawyer from scottcounsel.com to walk you through the estate planning process.

How Estate Planning Works

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Your estate refers to what you own, including your house and other properties, vehicles, investments, bank accounts, furniture, personal belongings, and life insurance. An estate plan allows you to decide how your possessions are given to your chosen individuals or organizations. It contains a written record of your intentions and wishes. It spells out how you want your belongings and property to be distributed. You need to create an estate plan while you are still able and alive. Otherwise, state law and probate courts will make decisions for you when you die. These decisions might not reflect your wishes or fit the needs of your family. Your estate planning attorney will ensure all your wishes are respected.

Importance of Estate Planning

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The following are the reasons estate planning is important:

1. It Is Not Only About Creating a Will

While both estate plans and wills give instructions for the way assets must be handled following your passing, estate planning covers much more. When you create an estate plan, you also delegate durable powers of attorney, create medical directives, designate beneficiaries, and create trusts to facilitate the transfer of property to your heirs.

2. It Saves You Money and Time

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Dying without a will results in state laws making decisions regarding your assets and who must distribute them. A representative will be named by the probate court to give away your assets. Often, this representative can be a surviving spouse. But, this could also be a close family member who can do the job. If none of these are options, the court will appoint a public trustee to legally distribute your assets.

During this process, your assets are frozen until each detail of your estate has been sorted out. This process involves lots of paperwork, requires court appearances by attorneys, and includes paying their fees. For your surviving family members, this can be quite costly. Estate planning can reduce the expense and time of dying without a plan.

3. No Family Messes

Families are complicated. Do you have one? Then you know it. Some have it better some have it worse, but a family reunion tied for an estate can quickly turn into Knives Out with Daniel Craig, with the same mess but without beautiful Ana de Armas. When there’s money involved, family members can quickly turn into worst enemies. There will always be that one cousin who believes he deserves more. It’s how things are. When there’s disagreement about how an estate should be handled it is often the court who needs to have the final word. Once things are at court, it is a mess that won’t be cleaned in a short time.

So, what you can do? Well, with help in real estate planning you can avoid conflict. Not only avoid it. You could destroy any idea of it happening with a good plan put in place on time. It is vital to have a plan put in place for the time when things take an u-turn. It is important to leave in peace when you’re done with this planet. The best way to do this is by making sure that your offspring and other beneficiaries of your will won’t have to argue about anything.

4. Taxes

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Three things are certain in life-death, taxes, and Tom Brady playing for another season. This is one of the biggest truths in this world. The last titbit is an NFL joke, but it isn’t far from the truth. Interestingly, death and taxes are related when it comes to real estate planning. If you are into it, you could save vastly on taxes by planning accordingly. But, it is only possible if you start on time. When you start planning your estate, the IRS has a special rule put in place. The tax in this situation is rather specific. Every estate is sustainable to taxes. It doesn’t matter if it will be handed down through a will, as a gift, or inherited by your closest. If your plan is put in motion early, you could minimize the effects the taxes will have on its value, and later on the amount, the inheritors will have to pay. When you do this, you’re thinking about the future. Not short-term, but long-term future. This is not about you in this department. No, when you look at it down the road, it is not only you who will have the benefits of reduced taxes. It will also apply to your family.

Bottom Line

Real estate planning is a great way to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and protected when your time is due. This move should be done during your lifetime, even long before you start feeling that you can’t handle it on your own. Having a plan set in place and put in motion before anything goes south is the proper way to handle your business in this domain. The right time to start? It’s right now. If you have taken anything out of our article let it be that it’s necessary that you act right away on this matter.