Estate Planning for the Uninitiated

Estate Planning for the Uninitiated

Estate planning isn’t as easy as sipping tea or coffee from your tea cup. It is a hectic process and this is worst when the uninitiated engage in it. Estate Planning looks like rocket science to the uninitiated.

It is a good thing that there are trained professional attorneys who can guild you step by step through this stressful process.

It is quite unfortunate how most people still don’t realize the importance of estate planning. They labor a greater percentage of their life time and might die leaving the fate of all they have acquired to the court to decide.

The decision to plan your estate is a very big one geared toward the right direction. But that’s not all. Estate Planning involves many processes.

For the Uninitiated this could be a discouraging factor but it is necessary to know that estate planning is worth the effort and time. You will be at peace knowing that your estate will be properly managed when you are gone. Also knowing that your loved ones get to enjoy your hard work, sweat and labor

Why you should plan your estate

Understanding the reason for planning your estate will go a long way to help and encourage you complete the process. It will also serve as a compass to define your direction. There are several reasons why you should plan your estate.

  • You should plan your estate now so you can protect your assets even after death. This way your estate won’t end up in the wrong hands.
  • You should plan your estate so that your love ones will be the beneficiaries of your life’s hard work.
  • You should properly plan your estate to avoid exuberant taxation on your estate after your death.
  • Estate planning gives you the opportunity to make plans and provision ahead of unforeseen events say, in the case of incapacitation.
  • It gives you room to plan on how your debts should be settled in order for your estate not to be liquidated in the process of settling your creditors.
  • It helps you escape Probate. The thing is that whether you have an estate plan or not, when you die your assets will still go through Probate. But with a proper plan in place you could avoid the Probate process and all its stress.
  • It gives you the opportunity of making plans for the upkeep of your descendants –especially the young ones—either by making provisions for them in your will or by setting up a trust for them.

Important Documents involve in estate planning

  • Last Will and testament: Will is a legal document which conveys the testator’s intentions concerning distribution of his estate. A will contains the named executor who the testator has chosen.
  • Trust: This is a relationship between the trustor and the trustee whereby the trustor gives the trustee legal title of ownership for the benefit of the beneficiary. A trust can be revocable or irrevocable.
  • Financial power of attorney: This is a legal document which allows you to give legal financial right to someone. In the case of a sudden sickness, an accident or age–accompanied illness which render you incapable of making financial decisions by yourself; this person will be able to make decisions on your behalf.
  • Healthcare proxy:  This document is similar to financial power of attorney but this one has to do with health care. Your named proxy will be able to decide on your behalf the types and extent of treatment you will be given. Your choices of treatment must be stated in this document.

Determining the components of your estate plan

Various factors will determine the component of your estate plan.

  • Family make up: The estate plan for a married person will definitely be different from that of a single person. Married person’s estate plan will put into consideration trust–for the children’s sake, Probate avoidance –to grant one’s spouse quick access to their assets, etc.
  • Age: You have to put your age into consideration. At some point you will have to include retirement plans in your estate plan. Later on it will be necessary to include plans for incapacity. Inclusion of funeral plans will also be wise.

Most importantly, as an uninitiated, personal research cannot be enough. You have to enquire from your attorneys. This way they will guild you step by step through the process.

Our attorneys are always available. Contact us today.

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