When people think about estate plans, they often think of the negative - planning for after your death. It’s difficult for a lot of people to actively take steps in preparation for their passing. However, there are a lot of benefits that come from having an estate plan.
If you haven’t started estate planning, here are some reasons to begin.
Financial Support for your Family
After losing a loved one, many people need to take time off work to grieve. This time out of work can end up causing financial strain. Having a formal estate plan in place will ensure that your family gets all of the inheritance you have left for them, which can help them stay financially stable during the grieving period. Not only will they get the full amount stated in your will, but they will also get it quickly.
This financial support can also provide a ‘safety net’ for any unexpected expenses that arise after you are gone, such as medical treatments or home repairs.
Planning for your Children
Within an estate plan, you can determine who will be granted guardianship of your children should you and your spouse tragically pass away.
Choosing a guardian for your children is a big decision. Here are some things to consider when making your decision about a potential guardian:
- Their parenting style and values. Are they similar to yours?
- How far away do they live from your current home? A big move would require your child to start over in a new town, in a new school, with new peers.
- Is the potential guardian ready for the responsibility of raising a child?
- Is the potential guardian financially capable?
While you hope that nothing happens to you or your spouse, you can have peace of mind knowing that there is a plan in place for your children.
Creating an estate plan will save you money in the future. When you don’t have an estate plan at the time of your death, a significant amount of your money must be spent on court fees and other costs during the probate process. During probate, the deceased’s property is distributed, debts are settled, and all other estate logistics are organized. When no will or plan is created before death, the probate process can be lengthy, complicated, and expensive.
Additionally, there are many tax reduction strategies you can use when estate planning. This is something to begin looking into early so you can distribute your assets as needed.
The Ability to Make Personal Decisions
When you die without a will, your assets and property are divided based on state intestacy laws. However, with an estate plan, you can make all of your own decisions about what happens after you are gone. For example, you can choose to leave property to friends or leave charitable gifts to organizations.
Making the big decisions also saves your family from having to do so. In a time of grief and sadness, your family won’t want to be burdened with choosing how to divide and distribute your estate.
Additionally, your estate plan can include end-of-life instructions. This may include your wishes for:
- Medical care if you are incapacitated
- End-of-life care
- Funeral arrangements
- How you want your remains handled
Start Estate Planning Today
It’s never too early to start planning. At Baxter Harder, LLC, we understand that the estate planning process is emotional and difficult for many people. Our team provides you the support you need as you contemplate these big decisions and create an estate plan.