If you don not have an estate plan for the management of your assets and affairs, your state’s intestacy laws will take over upon your disability or passing. Sadly, many individuals don’t engage in formal estate planning because they don’t think that they have “a lot of assets” or mistakenly believe that their assets will be automatically shared among their children. A well thought out Estate Plan ensures your wishes are carried out in the administration and control of your estate upon your disability or passing.
If you pass away without establishing an estate plan, your estate would undergo probate, a public, court-supervised proceeding. Probate can be expensive and tie up the assets of the deceased for a prolonged period before beneficiaries can receive them. Even worse, your failure to outline your intentions through proper estate planning can tear apart your family as each person maneuvers to be appointed with the authority to manage your affairs. Additionally, as tax laws continue to change, it is important you meet with professionals to discuss any tax planning tools to help ensure your plan avoids any unnecessary tax consequences or fees.
Posted in: General Estate Planning Questions