Estate planning provides a method for individuals or families to organize their affairs for the future. Unexpected events can arise at any time, and proper planning can assist you in minimizing the impact of those events.
Estate planning is generally defined as a process of arranging your assets so that, if you were to become ill, injured, or die, your “estate,” which is essentially what you own, is already designated to go to the people, entities, and charities who you want to inherit your assets or control your affairs.
Estate planning for your loved ones
While determining how to distribute your property is a fundamental part of estate planning, it is not just about your tangible property; estate planning also includes your decision-making powers for yourself or your children.
Estate planning is important for almost any person to consider. If you have children, have a long-term significant other to whom you are not married, own any property, have personal items with sentimental value, or have specific wishes regarding your own care if you were to fall ill and incapacitated, you should consult an estate planning attorney regarding your options.
Estate planning options
An estate lawyer will be able to review the various options for estate planning and ensure that your wishes are accomplished regarding your personal estate.
While certain estate planning devices, such as wills, may seem straightforward, an improperly executed estate plan could be declared unenforceable under the law. Your estate planning lawyer can counsel you on the best language and clauses to include in your will or other estate planning document to properly enact the outcome you desire.
As uncomfortable as it may be to contemplate your mortality, it is important to provide clear plans for your estate. While you may think that your family members and friends “know” what you want, when emotions are running high, people may not clearly remember what you had instructed them to do in passing long ago.
If certain family members do not get along, think about how well they will get along once you throw in the reaction to a sudden death or injury of a loved one, financial complications, and attempted interpretations of what you may or may not have said about your wishes to various people.
Estate planning allows you to be proactive in protecting your estate and your loved ones. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine the best ways to avoid messy probate, financial, or family issues, and ensure you maximize the amount of property you are able to pass on to your heirs.