Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die.
When that happens—and it is a “when” and not an “if”—you probably want to control how those things are given to the people or organizations you care most about. To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it. You will, of course, want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.
Preparing an estate plan is a caring act that promotes family cohesion. The loss of a loved one, or handling the care of a loved one upon incapacity, often stresses family bonds. A purposeful estate plan alleviates the legal and financial stresses that accompany such difficult times, which allows families to focus on greater concerns. While there are myriad tax, asset protection, and asset preservation benefits to an effective estate plan, our experience repeatedly shows us that such benefits are secondary to the peace of mind and familial strength an estate plan can provide.
Please contact one of our estate planning attorneys to arrange a consultation and discuss how an estate plan can benefit your family.