When you think about estate planning, what do you think of first?
Probably death and older people.
While estate planning is not the most exciting thing to think about, it is necessary to make sure your children and family members are taken care of and your assets get distributed according to your wishes.
Do not get overwhelmed by the estate planning process. Do your research and hire a reputable estate planning attorney to walk you through the process.
This article will get your research started with 5 of the most common estate planning questions.
1. Who Needs Estate Planning?
Your estate consists of all of your assets at the time of your death. Assets could include real estate, cash, personal property, IRAs or other retirement accounts, investments, and life insurance plans, among others.
Anyone who has any assets needs estate planning, not just the wealthy as many people believe. If you want to make sure your estate gets distributed according to your wishes, you need estate planning.
Estate planning can also help avoid large inheritance taxes and set up financial assistance for one of your beneficiaries who may need guidance in managing their inheritance.
2. When Should I Start Planning My Estate?
Probably earlier than you think. Experts agree that you should start estate planning in your 20s.
Even though you might be broke, you can at least make a plan, identify a decision-maker, and prevent your family from having to go through a lengthy probate process for your small amount of assets.
3. What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
There is a difference between a will and a trust. A will is a legal document specifying how your assets are distributed after your death. You are able to revise it as often as you want during your lifetime.
On the other hand, a trust not only specifies where your assets go, but it also dictates when your beneficiaries can access them.
A trust can be either revocable or irrevocable. Like a will, you can change a revocable trust at any time during your life. An irrevocable trust means that you give up any rights to revise the trust after you create it.
4. What is Probate?
Probate is the process of legally authenticating the will. All of the assets must be located, creditors must be identified, and beneficiaries must also be located.
Before any of the assets get distributed, they all must be located and verified and outstanding debts must be paid. Only then can the beneficiaries receive any distribution of assets.
With estate planning, you can avoid the lengthy probate process.
5. Do I Need an Attorney?
Yes. Do not try to go through the estate planning process alone. An estate planning attorney can help you avoid the common mistakes made when people try to plan their estates on their own.
Estate Planning: Do not Delay
You are not too young to think about estate planning. As uncomfortable as it might be, it is all about taking care of those you love. Do them a favor and plan your estate now, so they do not have to worry about it when you pass and they are grieving.
Our firm will help you with the entire estate planning process. Contact us today for an individualized plan for your estate.