As an estate owner, it is very important that you plan your estate while alive. Remember, no one can predict the future. Thus, you would be doing your family a lot of good if you plan your estate in time.
A well planned estate; that is, one that has all the essential estate planning documents in place, has several benefits. It can cater for your loved ones after your demise. It can cater to you when you become incapacitated or old. It can also cater to your minor children in the event that you and your spouse are no more. Indeed, estate planning is one of the most important plans you’ll make while alive.
What is this plan anyway? What is really an estate plan all about?
Estate Planning Explained
When you die, those assets you left behind will need new owners. The cars, houses, your businesses, etc., will need to be put into someone else’s care. With a will, which is an important component of an estate plan, you can designate beneficiaries for each of the assets you own. This means that, if you want your eldest son to inherit your business, an estate plan can help you do that. Or if you want one of your houses to be given to charity, you can put that desire in your will and it would be granted.
Without much ado, let us take a look at what estate planning is.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning has a lot of definition. You see, if you understand the concept behind estate planning, you would be able to create a definition yourself. Estate planning in simple terms is a plan done to ensure that one’s assets is well managed and distributed after death. An estate plan can also ensure that you are well taken care of should you become incapacitated
How does an Estate Plan Works?
An estate plan is usually made with the help of an estate planning attorney. Once you discuss your wishes with this attorney, he will assist you in creating an estate plan that mirrors your wishes.
An estate plan comes with several legal documents. These documents which includes a will, a trust, power of attorney, health care power of attorney, etc., are all component of estate planning designed to ensure that the estate owner including hos loved ones are well catered to either after his death or incapacitation.
A will is regarded as one of the most important component of an estate plan. This legal document contains the wishes of the estate owner including other important details regarding the estate. Some of the information or details a will contains are:
- The name of the estate beneficiaries
- The assets to be distributed to each beneficiary
- The name of the estate executor
- Burial plans of the estate owner
After the death of the estate owner, it is the job of the estate executor to present the will to the probate court. It is the duty of the probate court to determine if the will is valid. A will can be invalid for several reasons. Thus, it is important that you consult with an estate planning attorney when planning your estate.
If an estate owner dies without a will, his estate will be managed and distributed based on the intestate laws of the state. The probate court will go ahead and select a representative, who is most time the deceased’s spouse. It is very important that you plan your estate so that you can outline the beneficiaries of your estate including other important details regarding your estate.
Who needs estate planning?
The word “estate” may make you believe that an estate plan is for the wealthy alone. But, an estate consists of all that you own, such as real estate, cars, cash, including other assets. That said, I you want your assets to be transferred to one or more surviving loved ones after you pass away, you should consider creating an estate plan. This essential set of legal documents can make it easier for your family to make sure that your wishes and needs are met if you become incapacitated.
Need and Estate Planning Attorney?
If you need the help of a professional to create an estate plan, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We boast of competent and experienced estate planning lawyers who can create an estate plan that suits your needs.