Estate Planning is laying out a framework for how your possessions and assets should be distributed when you die. It is also when you would deal with designating someone to take care of any children that you may have. It is important to take the time to go through this process, especially after significant life events, so that your wishes are respected.
Though you may be reluctant to discuss your own death, there could be drastic implications of skipping this important step if you should happen to be involved in a sudden, unfortunate accident or other life-changing situation, such as a long-term disability.
Without investing the time in sitting down with a lawyer to complete a proper will and estate plan, your assets will be distributed in accordance with the prevailing laws. This could mean that people who played a special or important role in your life, but perhaps aren’t related to you by blood receive nothing.
Also, not having a will may mean that your family, through your estate, will be subject to costly taxes or fees before they can receive assets – and the likelihood over litigation regarding the care of your children is significantly higher without a will in place.
Besides discussing the terms of how your assets will be distributed, an estate plan will also set other various instructions for how to protect loved ones.
This includes naming guardians of minor children, dictating how any business interests you have will be arranged, setting out your wishes regarding the terms of your burial and arranging for other concerns related to the care and well-being of the ones you love.
An estate plan isn’t a document that is created and then stored on a shelf and forgotten. As life changes, your plan should change as well. You should prioritize updating your will after important life events, such as if you get married or divorced, or if you have children or see a significant change in income or assets. It is also suggested that your plan be reviewed every five years.
If you don’t already have an estate plan in place, the best time to prepare one is now. Putting it off for weeks, months and years can be incredibly costly in the long run to your family should the unthinkable happen. Investing some time in the process gives you the peace of mind that your loved ones are protected in all circumstances.
To prepare your estate plan simply contact Epstein & Associates today to set up a no-obligation complimentary consultation. We can help you understand more about the process and make sure that all documents are in place so that you are prepared to face the future.