What is Estate Planning?
One of the most important facets of financial planning is estate planning. This article discusses the basics of wills and estate planning, the benefits of doing so, and what one can expect when engaging an estate planning attorney.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of arranging for the distribution of a person’s assets after their passing. It involves taking an inventory of assets and liabilities, deciding how assets will be distributed, and identifying the people or organizations to receive those assets. A well-crafted estate plan can protect one’s family and provide peace of mind for beneficiaries.
Why Should You Have An Estate Plan?
According to a survey conducted by Caring.com, only 42% of Americans have an estate plan. The majority of people assume that estate planning is only for the wealthy. However, this is far from the truth. Anyone who has assets to pass along to the next generation, whether it’s a house, a bank account, or a sentimental item, should have an estate plan.
The benefits of an estate plan include:
– It allows you to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes;
– It protects your heirs from creditor claims and lawsuits;
– It helps minimize estate taxes;
– It provides for the care of minor children;
– It can reduce the likelihood of disputes over your estate.
What Is A Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets. A person must be of legal age, sound mind, and free of undue influence to create a valid will.
The key elements of a will include:
– Identification of the executor or personal representative responsible for administering the estate;
– The appointment of a guardian for minor children;
– The identification of beneficiaries and their respective shares;
– The provisions for debts, taxes, and expenses;
– Signature and witness requirements.
Creating a will is only one aspect of the estate planning process. To ensure that your estate is planned appropriately, it’s important to consult with an Estate Planning Attorney, such as, Donaldson Law PLLC.
What Can You Expect When Working With An Estate Planning Attorney?
An estate planning attorney can help you establish a plan for the distribution of your assets to your heirs, create trusts for the benefit of your beneficiaries, and minimize estate taxes. The attorney will work with you to identify your goals and objectives and ensure that your estate plan is in line with your wishes.
When engaging an estate planning attorney, you can expect to:
– Have open and honest communications about your personal circumstances;
– Receive guidance about estate planning tools and strategies designed to minimize taxes and protect your assets;
– Review and provide feedback on draft documents before finalizing them;
– Understand the attorney’s fees for services rendered.
Estate planning is a critical part of financial planning that can provide significant benefits for families and beneficiaries. Creating a will is only one aspect of estate planning, which can help reduce conflict, protect assets, and minimize estate taxes. Schedule a consultation with Donaldson Law PLLC to learn more!