Planning your estate is a way of securing your future, the future of your children, your assets etc. most people confuse estate planning with a will. A will is just one of the documents that are contained in an estate plan. An estate plan includes several legal documents which entails different instructions regarding how your estates should be managed in case of incapacity or death. Estate planning is a process that involves making specific plans for your estate in case of an eventuality or death.
Importance of an estate planning
The importance of estate planning cannot be over emphasized as is serves as a security for your assets. Estate planning gives you the opportunity to control what happens to your estate long after your death. Estate planning is of much importance. Some of them include
- It will save your family and heir a whole lot of stress and trouble of hiring lawyers concerning your estate if something should happen to you. If you die without planning your estate, your family members will have to hire attorneys who will be representing them in court regarding your estate. This could be cost effective.
- It could also save your estate from going through the probate process while you are gone. Probate is a legal procedure whereby the court determines what happens to your estate when you die. With a good estate plan and strategy, you can avoid this process.
- When you properly plan your estate, at your death your assets will be easily accessible by your family members. Dying without having an estate plan means your estate will go through the probate process. The probate process could take months and even years to be completed and within this time, your family members and heirs cannot access your assets.
- Estate planning can also help your family reduce or avoid payable taxes on your inheritance. With the proper strategy of estate planning, you can escape much state tax.
- It also gives you the opportunity to make all the necessary provisions for your minor. If you die or become incapacitated without having an estate plan the court will have to decide who will take care of your young children.
Myth about estate planning
Different persons have different believes regarding estate planning. Most of these believe are wrong. They might come about as a result of ignorance (lack of a proper understanding about the topic). Some people believe that
- Estate planning is for the rich: This idea about estate planning is very wrong. Estate planning is not just for the rich alone but for everyone who has an asset to leave behind for their heirs.
- Estate planning is a complicated process: This could be true to the uninitiated. With proper understanding of the processes and steps involved in estate planning coupled with guardians from a professional, the process becomes friendly and easy.
- Estate planning is for the old: This is another wrong idea regarding estate planning. Estate planning is not only applicable in the case of death. It is also applicable in times of incapacitation. This is why it is wrong to wait for old age before planning your estate.
- It can be done anytime: if you become incapacitated today without having an estate plan, the court will choose the person that will be in charge of your estate. This is definitely not what you want so it is better to plan your estate now that you are very much capable of doing it.
- It is too expensive: Of a truth estate planning could be an expensive process but the cost and consequences of not planning your estate is more than what it will cost you to plan your estate.
- A will and last testament is enough: This is a very careless move. A will has areas which it covers regarding your estate plan. Other documents involved in estate plan have other areas they cover and make provision for. For instance a will can only transfer an asset to an heir after the testator’s death but a trust can transfer an asset to a beneficiary even while the trustor is still alive. The different documents in an estate plan have their unique importance.
In planning an estate, it is very important and wise to seek for assistance from professionals. They will be able to guard you through the various steps involved in estate planning without making costly mistakes.
Our attorneys are always available for professional consult and hire.