There are many benefits to having an estate plan. Unfortunately, a big mistake many people make is not creating a plan because they assume that estate planning is only for the very wealthy.
The fact is, whether your estate is large or small, any property you own, your bank accounts, household goods, vehicles, and life insurance are all part of your estate. And if you want to have some say in how your assets are distributed to your loved ones after you're gone, you need an estate plan. Moreover, if you have minor children or even a special needs child who will need to be cared for when you die, estate planning can be especially critical.
Additional considerations for creating an estate plan can include:
- Appointing a medical power of attorney in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own. Having a medical power of attorney can help you manage your medical and financial affairs in advance.
- Ensuring that your assets are quickly distributed promptly to your beneficiaries according to your wishes.
- Enabling you to decide who will take care of your children after you're gone versus having the court decide for you.
- Allow you to establish a special needs trust to care for a disabled child or aging parent.
- Allowing you to plan your funeral arrangements in advance.
- Being able to decide in advance how you want your financial matters to be handled, who handles them, and any other special instructions.
- The ability to reduce estate taxes so that more of your assets go your heirs
- If you're a business owner, an estate plan can ensure that your business continues to operate smoothly and to the advantage of your benefactors.
Estate planning can be a wise investment for most people. Often just knowing that your loved ones will be properly taken care of after you're gone is worth taking the time to establish an estate plan. For more information on estate planning visit Protective's Estate Planning Learning Center.