Saturday, November 3, 2012
An Overview of Estate Planning
No one knows what the future may hold. Even if you feel as though it is premature to create a will or trust, this may be the best time to think about your future and plan your estate. No matter what age you are or what walk of life you are in, estate planning could be a wise step for you. You will most likely have many questions regarding this issue, so please continue reading so that you can be well-informed in making your decision. First of all, an estate is a broad term that includes all of your bank accounts, stocks, securities, life insurance, investments, cars, real estate, inheritances, and other substantial assets such as jewelry, artwork, and electronics. As you can see, every adult has an estate, not just the very wealthy. Although it is definitely recommended that those with vast, complex estates have a plan for the future, everyone should do so. It does not matter how young or old you are or how many assets you own.
Why is estate planning important? First, it allows you to provide for friends and family members after you are gone. Rather than allowing the courts to divide up your estate how they see fit, you will be able to decide now how you would like to be included in your will and exactly how it will be divided up. Not only that, but if you have children or dependents in your care, you will be able to stipulate who will become their guardian should you pass away. Not only will you be able to take care of your family financially, but you will be cutting down on the possible stress and conflict that could arise by not having a clear will.
An estate plan can also protect you during your life. For example, if you become ill and are unable to make decisions regarding your healthcare, the directions left in your estate plan will be followed. Not only that, but by not planning ahead, your estate could be subject to crippling estate taxes that could take up to 50% of your assets. An estate plan will also help you avoid probate. When an individual dies without a will or trust or other legal document stating their wishes, the estate could go into probate. It will have to go through probate court in order to determine who is entitled to what, a process which can be time-consuming and very expensive. If you have more questions regarding probate, estate planning, wills, or trusts, you should contact a legal representative as soon as possible. They could examine your unique case and help you walk through this process.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7012318
Posted by Rene at 4:17 PM