Many people think estate planning is for older, wealthy people who need to establish elaborate trusts to protect their assets. However, wills, trusts and other estate planning instruments are important for people of all ages and incomes.
Below are a few reasons why you should consider drafting a will or other estate planning documents today rather than waiting until tomorrow:
1. Why You Need to Plan Now
It's important to make your wishes known now rather than wait until it's too late. All too often, people fail to put their affairs in order thinking they will get to it down the road. However, the future is unpredictable and making arrangements today can save your family a great deal of stress and heartache in the future.
In short, you never know what the future will bring, so it's important to make preparations for you and your family as soon as possible. Whether you're just starting out in life or are at the end of your career and want to protect what you've worked hard to build, now, not tomorrow, is the time to prepare.
2. Give Your Family Some Clarity in Difficult Times
If you have lost a loved one to a sudden accident or illness, you already understand how difficult it can be to deal with his or her financial affairs while coping with the emotional loss.
Don't put your family and loved ones in a difficult position. Without an estate plan, your family will be left to piece together all of your assets, bank accounts, debts and other financial matters. With a valid and updated will in place, you can feel confident knowing that your loved ones won't be left scrambling to determine your affairs after you're gone.
3. You Don't Need To Be Incredibly Wealthy To Have An Estate Plan
Some people hold the misconception that only people with a certain amount of wealth should make plans for their estates, but estate planning refers to almost any asset you own that requires tax payments, expenses, and/or can increase or decrease in value over time. This includes your house, vehicles, personal property, investments, debts as well as vacation or investment property you own.
It's also wise to revisit your estate planning documents throughout your life. Perhaps you have come into some money later in life and want to set something aside for your children. You can set up a trust fund for your children and outline how and when that money can be used.
4. Make A List
A big step in preparing your estate involves listing everything you own. This also means clearly outlining where you're money and assets are located. This may include listing various bank accounts, savings, investments, pensions as well as debts.
A lawyer can walk you through drafting a legal will based on your list and explain how taxes are calculated and/or the best way to protect your family's future. A good lawyer will have current information about tax requirements and how to reduce them. He or she will advise you about any current debts you might have and how these can be handled appropriately and legally to eliminate any future problems for your family and make sure you have all the necessary forms completed. You can include your wishes for guardianship of your children or add a provision to donate money to any charity you choose. Remember that this legal document is yours to make changes to at any time.
Guiding You at Every Step
At The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A., we can help you determine the most appropriate estate planning documents for you and your family. Additionally, we are here for you today as well as tomorrow. When you life changes, we will be ready to make updates to your estate planning instruments.