There is a common perception that estate planning only includes a will or a trust in someone’s or some organization’s name. But it is not true at all. There are many features associated with an estate plan. You can do a lot in your estate planning.
Also, remember that estate planning is not only about wealthy people. Estate planning means giving your belonging to another person after your death. This belonging can be anything, and it does not have to be a costly house or a car. So, keeping in mind that estate planning is for all of us, this article gives you a brief idea of the elements that an estate plan includes.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is distributing all your belongings to any person or any organization through legal documentation. People mainly do this to protect their beneficiaries and their assets.
Must-Have Contents in Estate Planning!
Here are some of the must-have things in any estate planning:
Wills or Trusts
A will or a trust is a must in estate planning. Even if you do not have any substantial assets, you must have a valid will or a trust where you have distributed your belongings as per your wishes. Sometimes having a confidence puts a limit on the estate taxes.
Now, proper documentation is essential for a will or a trust. You need to be very careful while distributing your assets to your loved ones. Any small mistake can lead to confusion, resulting in legal contests among your relatives. And this scenario could end up being very messy.
Having A Durable Power of Attorney
Making someone else a power of attorney is very important while still alive. For example, if you are mentally incompetent, the court might take your assets and give them to people you did not want to. So, to avoid such situations, you need to have someone else who can make decisions on your behalf.
Most people let their better half take the position of power of attorney just for convenience. But you can choose anyone in the family who you trust the most.
Your insurance plans and savings account can be passed outside of your will. So, it would help if you chose the proper beneficiaries for these accounts. But, on the other hand, if you do not happen to have any beneficiaries, the court tends to take such cases after your death. And the decision of the court might not be the same as yours. So, it is always better to have beneficiaries registered as soon as possible.
Remember that the beneficiary must be more than 18 years old, and they should be mentally competent.
Letter of Intent
A letter of intent is a letter that you can leave to your beneficiaries stating what you want them to do with your possessions and belongings. This kind of document is not valid in front of the court, but definitely, it holds a lot of value to the beneficiary. This letter helps in the distribution of your assets and also portrays your intentions to everyone in the family.
The healthcare Proxy gives another person the power to make healthcare decisions for you. You must be sure that the person with the healthcare power of attorney can be trusted entirely and that they would make the best decisions for your health on your behalf.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS!
- Estate planning does not cater to rich people only. It is for everyone!
- You need to have proper documentation while planning your estate, or else the probate court can potentially leave all your belongings to some unintended person.
- The estate planning will allow the family member or your attorney to carry out your wishes just in case you become incapacitated while you are alive.
Having estate planning is a necessary step so that all our loved ones can be protected after we are gone. This also ensures the well-being of our hard-earned heritage as well. We hope this article has given you a good idea of estate planning and what it constitutes.
A lot of people are more interested in planning their vacation trips rather than estate planning. They think that estate planning is only for the wealthiest in the world. But these people couldn’t be more wrong. Estate planning is an essential plan that should be included in everyone’s life. It is all about the safety and security of your family members even when you are not around. Thus, this article answers the obvious questions about why you should have an estate plan.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the overall transfer of your assets to your loved ones. In estate planning, you can decide about the distribution of your investments among your loved ones. As a result, they can still be finically secure and independent when you are no longer around.
Why Do You Need an Estate Plan?
Here comes the obvious question of this article. We know that people are struggling with this question, and in the end, they think they don’t need an estate plan. But that is ultimately a wrong conception. There are so many reasons why you need to have an estate plan. Some of these reasons are mentioned in this article.
Estate Planning Allows You to Make Your Own Choices
Through estate planning, you can choose who gets what. You can easily divide your assets according to your own choice. The decision goes to the court in the absence of any estate plan. The court chooses who will get what amount of your assets. And this decision might not be in sync with yours. Most of the time, the family members start contesting regarding the asset distribution. This makes the relationship within the family very bitter. Thus, it would help to avoid such issues if you had proper estate planning.
It Will Protects Your Children
With people having children, estate planning can be of great help. Imagine that you do not have an estate plan and die suddenly due to an accident. What happens to the future of your children? How are they going to survive? To avoid such situations, you need to have a strong estate plan that will ensure that even after your death, your children will be financially independent and won’t be facing any troubles whatsoever.
You Can Reduce Your Taxes
A lot of your money can get eaten up due to taxes on your property. This can be easily avoided by having a good estate plan. You can consult your lawyers and financial counselors regarding minimizing the tax. Eventually, if you develop a healthy-structured will and estate plan, your heirs can be protected from paying this massive amount of taxes. Most couples go for this option to mitigate taxes.
You Can Continue Your Legacy
Estate planning is all about protecting the things and the people you value the most. By making a proper estate plan, you will not only take care of your loved ones, but at the same time, you can ensure the safety of all of your belongings. The assets that you have built through your hard-earned money need to be protected no matter what.
It Will Help in Business
For people running a company, a minor factor or a big organization. Estate planning is a must. This company needs to continue even after you are not around. Thus, you need to have an estate plan stating the power of attorney of your company so that after you are gone, your company is well taken care of. In the absence of any will or estate plan, your company might be seized by the government or fall into the wrong hands. Thus, it would help if you had proper planning for your business.
It Helps in Charity
It is not necessary that all of your hard-earned money has to go to your loved ones only. You can even donate an amount to charity if you want to. This can be done quickly using an estate plan. You can include your favorite charity in your will in your trust and the share of assets you want to donate them.
Whether rich or poor, estate planning must be a top priority. And the best time to do it is now!