Estate Planning Deficiencies Check-Up
Why Do You Need An Estate Plan?
The number one reason people don't create an estate plan is because they believe their estate is too small. However, estate planning is for everyone because without proactive planning, state laws will determine how your assets pass, to whom they pass, and when they pass. This can lead to undesired results, and is perhaps the most costly way to pass assets to loved ones - even if those assets are small. An estate plan isn't just about tax and probate avoidance; it is about establishing a legacy and a clear process for your care and the care of your loved ones upon your incapacity or death.
A well-structured estate plan provides benefits in five key areas:
Peace of Mind
Name guardians for minor children
Appoint trusted people to manage your affairs
Keep your affairs private
Build a legacy to pass to your loved ones
Choose who will make emergency health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so
Identify how you wish to determine if you are mentally disabled
Care for you and your loved ones in the event you are unable to do so
Avoid delays and expenses related to probate
Prevent possible will contests and disputes
Designate your beneficiaries for retirement plans and life insurance policies
Protect your children's inheritance if your surviving spouse remarries or from a divorcing spouse
Protect assets passed to your surviving spouse and to your children's inheritance form creditors and lawsuits
Minimize possible federal and state estate taxes at your death (including taxes on your house, life insurance and IRA's)
Maintain consistency with current tax laws
Estate Planning Questionnaire
The following questions will help you determine if you need an estate plan or if your current estate plan is sufficient to accomplish your goals of providing for your care during incapacity, protecting your loved ones, and passing your assets to whom you want, when you want, and in the way you want.