The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people giving greater thought to estate planning. But even when we are not living in a global pandemic situation, it is important to have your affairs in order, no matter how old or healthy you are.
If you have a home or other assets you care about, or specific wishes for the kinds of healthcare you do or do not wish to receive in an end-of-life situation, having an estate plan in place protects your estate and ensures your wishes will be carried out.
Prioritize Estate Planning
Here are 6 key reasons to make estate planning a priority.
1. Avoid stressing your family and loved ones
If you die without an estate plan in place, you will not be the one feeling the stress—it will be the family and loved ones you leave behind.
An estate plan allows you to clearly list your wishes for certain situations and methods to pass on your assets as easily and hassle-free as possible.
Without an estate plan, your entire estate will have to pass through probate and be divided according to state law, which could result in unnecessary delays, expenses and complications for your family. And that is not to mention the fights that may occur over what people interpret your wishes to have been.
2. Avoid the costs and delays of probate
A solid estate plan will allow your estate assets to bypass the probate courts.
The use of a living trust means you can keep your asset distribution private and your heirs can directly collect their inheritance without the court needing to oversee the process. With a living trust, there is no need to go through the process of validating a will.
3. Protect beneficiaries and dependents
Estate planning provides you with a variety of ways to protect your beneficiaries.
For minor beneficiaries, you can use your estate plan to name a guardian to watch over your children until they come of age. For adult beneficiaries, you can use strategies to protect them from outside influences, divorcing spouses, or bad decisions.
4. Document healthcare preferences
If you have any preferences about the kind of healthcare you wish to receive should you ever become incapacitated or are near the end of your life, you have the opportunity to state those preferences in your estate plan through living wills and advance directives.
5. Lower estate taxes
If you know you will be required to pay estate taxes, or believe you are right on the edge of having to do so, the estate planning strategies you implement can help you to reduce your potential estate tax burden.
6. Protect your assets
Estate planning helps you protect your assets from creditors or lawsuits. Estate planning strategies can protect your assets both during your life and after your death.
Baker Law Group works with individuals, families, and businesses to create an estate plan that suits their situation. For more information, contact an experienced attorney at Baker Law Group. We specialize in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Estate Administration. View attorney profiles.
Our offices are located in Hingham, Plymouth, Brockton, and Holliston. Virtual meetings are available or in our office following COVID-19 guidelines for safety.
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