Estate Planning Can Help You In So Many Ways!
Estate planning is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves. It’s not just about protecting your assets from taxes or providing for family members who may need it in the future, but also ensuring that any final wishes are fulfilled. If you don’t have an estate plan and are considering getting one, then this should give you some insights into the benefits you can reap from proper estate planning.
This article will outline some of the ways estate planning can help your family and make it easier on them when they need to deal with your death or incapacitation. To learn more about how our team at Heritage Law Firm can help you with your succession planning needs, please contact us today!
1. Estate Planning Is Not Reserved for Only the Wealthy
When you think about estate planning, what comes to mind? If it’s an ultra-wealthy yacht owner talking to his million-dollar lawyer, then you’d be very far off.
Estate planning helps people from all walks of life to protect their assets. From a will to a more complex strategy that involves multiple steps and legal arrangements, estate planning can help save you the worry of what will happen to your family when you pass away.
With proper planning, you can protect your estate from being paid out in estate taxes and probate fees, which could negatively impact its value. Your estate might seem small when it is time to start estate planning but, as life goes on we generally massively grow our wealth. Save yourself on taxes and save your family from spending years in probate court. Talking to an estate planner for a few hours could and save years of stress in probate court.
2. It Also Ensures Your Assets Go to the Right Hands
Another benefit of estate planning is it ushers the proceeds of your estate into the hands of your loved ones and family members faster and with less headache. If you leave it up to the state to determine how to handle your estate, then you are giving up control of who decides where your assets should go. Only with proper estate planning can you serve your heirs their fair share of your legacy with complete confidence.
3. Estate Planning Helps Protect Against the Unexpected
As we all know, life happens very fast, and sometimes things take a wrong turn. As much as we wish we could be around forever to take care of our children and families, sadly, in some cases, we have to leave them sooner than we’d like. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change.” If you’ve been blessed enough to be around for a long time, you will know that is 100% accurate. Life happens, things change, and sometimes we must roll with what life sends our way.
Planning for an unexpected situation is always a smart move. Careful planning in life generally leads to the best outcomes — this is also true when we relate it to estate planning. Let us help keep your assets protected, ready, and able to provide for your family. Here at Heritage Law, we never want to see a client leave feeling unprotected from the unexpected.
4. An Estate Plan Can Protect You From Paying Excessive Taxes
When it comes to estate planning, the number one priority is to provide for your loved ones. To provide the maximum amount of resources possible, it is always best to ensure that the taxes paid are minimized. Every dollar protected from the IRS can lead to more money going to your family, and that is always a good thing.
Using proper planning and guidance, many strategies can be employed to minimize estate, inheritance, and income tax on your estate and your family.
5. Estate Planning Protects Your Business
If you’re a business owner, you will want to utilize succession planning to keep it running smoothly. Having an estate plan allows you to protect your business from being dismantled after your death. If you pass away and family relations aren’t so good, there is a chance that your family disputes might cause your life’s work to end abruptly.
Not only can estate planning protect your business from many unpredictable situations, but it can also lay the groundwork for what events will take place in your absence. With a well-established estate plan, you can dictate who will take charge of the business to reduce business interruptions. For more information about business succession planning, check out our business page here.
6. Estate Planning Allows You to Give to Your Favorite Charity
We empower our clients to choose the long-term objectives of their charitable donations and take actionable steps to ensure charitable gifts are used properly. This includes the planning phase as well as the administration phase of your long-term tax objectives.
There are several options for charitable giving and donations. Using this strategy, you can balance your income needs in relation to taxable amounts. You will be empowered to choose your cause, from schools or educational facilities, religious organizations, and many more. At Heritage Law, we make sure that you are able to secure your estate in a way that you can provide for future generations and still give back to those who need it most.
7. Estate Planning Is Proactive Versus Reactive
Our goal is to empower our client’s future by offering proactive solutions to common problems. We want to be an integral part of your estate planning and advise you on the best steps forward. Our firm is intended to make estate planning as stress-free as possible. We want to prevent problems that can jeopardize your estate and future, not just fix the problem after it has already happened.
Estate planning is a common-sense approach to safeguarding your estate. We like to call it the umbrella approach — if you don’t have an umbrella and it rains, then what options are you left with. We want to set you up to weather any issue that life can bring, to protect your estate so you can help provide for your family and loved ones.
If the unexpected happens, you don’t want to be rushed in making a decision that could jeopardize your estate. This is why it is important to have a solid estate plan in place before problems arise. Heritage Law can work with you to establish the estate plan that best suits your needs and helps you secure your future.
8. Estate Planning Ensures Your Children Are Taken Care Of
In a case where you or your spouse are no longer able to take care of your children, estate planning can protect you financially against the unknown. Our estate planning solutions can make sure you choose who will take care of your children in many ways.
With a will or a trust, you can designate who takes care of your children, hand-picked. No issue of leaving it up to the state or a family member to determine who is the best fit to care for your child. Naming their guardians in your estate plan is obviously superior to leaving that up to chance. This applies more to a situation where both parents are deceased, but it is still a situation that requires consideration.
With a proper plan, you can also care for your children’s financial needs. This may seem obvious, but there are often nuances that can allow you to choose how much financial support they get and under what circumstances. For example, if a child has a developmental disorder, you can provide for their needs financially as well as set up a proper course of care for their needs.
Another example would be if you have an adult child who has an issue with substance abuse or truancy then you can dictate in your estate that they must remain sober or complete a recovery program to be eligible for the funds you have provided. Or, if that adult child struggles to focus on their education, your estate plan could include rules to only support them if they complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a certain caliber of university.
There are so many ways in which estate planning can improve the potential outcomes of situations, whether expected or unexpected. It is such a powerful step to ensure your family continues to flourish even after you are gone.
9. Estate Planning Protects Your Assets From Intestacy
If you die without a will, your estate can be subject to intestacy.
Intestacy refers to the condition of an estate that is left with more property than debt after someone dies and for those who have not appointed anyone in their wills or died without one at all.
It can result in court battles over assets that would have otherwise gone to other family members or charities if estate planning was engaged. These estate disputes can sting financially and emotionally for all involved. Heritage Law aims to avoid this conflict by helping our clients make estate plans that leave no room for interpretation. Your estate will go exactly where you want in the plan, so there is no question or doubt as to what happens with it after you have passed on.
10. Estate Planning Prevents Disagreements Amongst Family Members
It is important to understand that estate planning does not simply benefit you, it helps your family members. It can help them avoid estate taxes or other expenses related to a death in the family. Having an estate plan can prevent issues of ownership or what happens if there are unforeseeable disputes between heirs over property and assets as they often do not know how to handle the estate. You can secure their inheritance in advance and make it easier for your family to cooperate and support each other through the estate process without worrying about what is fair or equitable.
We Help Clients Like You With Estate Planning
Are you ready to take the next step in protecting your assets in the future?
The attorneys at the law firm of Heritage Law, have been helping people with estate planning needs for nearly a decade.
Take the time to learn about estate planning and probate and discuss it with your family. This will ensure your estate is protected the way you want it to be and that your family doesn’t face any conflict over financial matters at what should be a time of celebration, reflection, and mourning.
Contact us today if you need assistance developing a comprehensive estate plan that will cover all your bases.
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