Although we typically associate the term “estate” with the privileged and wealthy, estate planning isn’t just for those with a lot of money, it is for everybody. Regardless of financial status or family dynamics, all families can benefit from an estate plan that shows how you want your assets distributed.
Most people have neglected to have such plans created, only 42% of Americans currently have estate planning documentation. And while planning for life after you are gone is quite morbid, an estate plan can protect your assets after you die.
If you have yet to plan for the future, you might want to consider talking with an estate planning attorney about your wishes sooner rather than later. Goldberg and Associates, your estate planning service in Atlanta, offers the benefits of estate planning.
Plan for Incapacity
Estate planning isn’t all about death. It is quite common for people to become incapacitated by a medical condition or accident as they age. For example, a stroke could leave you unable to manage your financial affairs.
Should you fall victim to an event that leaves you incapacitated, do you know who will care for you and take care of the bills? A power of attorney designation for both healthcare and financial decisions could save your family money and grief.
It is probably a bit of a surprise that estate planning can benefit you while you are still alive. By having a plan in place, you can reduce your healthcare costs. By making sure you are eligible for government benefits like Medicare, you can pay less for healthcare and leave more money for your loved ones.
For every dollar you give to the government, that leaves a dollar less that can go to your loved ones. There are numerous tax strategies that will keep more money in your bank. The key is to start planning for this as early as possible.
Nobody wants to have to make the decision to pull the plug for a loved one who is in a coma or similar situation. And nobody wants to deal with how the remains of a deceased loved one should be handled.
These are tough, heartbreaking decisions that you don’t want loved ones to face. You can ease their burden by thinking about how this should play out in advance. You can specify all of the end-of-life decisions long before they happen.
Things Move Quickly
There are two options you must consider when thinking about estate planning. If you fail to have a plan, your family could wait a long time while everything gets sorted out after your death. By having an estate plan, your family gets what they need in terms of money and property right away.
An estate plan avoids delays that will put a financial burden on your loved ones.
Fees and Court Costs
Without an estate plan, a lot of your money will go to cover court costs and attorney fees. Should you die without a will, distribution of your money, the dissolution of your business and the guardianship of your children could be placed in the hands of our legal system. You know that will never end well.
Providing for Your Family After Death
Without a will or plan in place, your family and other loved ones will have to wait to get what is owed to them. Worse still, they will likely get less than what you intended. It happens all of the time, a family is torn apart after the unexpected death of the patriarch.
Legacy planning is often included in estate planning. This will shape the way you are remembered after you are gone. For many people, this includes establishing philanthropic intentions and developing a plan to ensure goals are reached.
You might decide to set up a charitable trust, create a family foundation or participate in a donor-advised fund to support a cause that is close to your heart.
Allow Future Generations to Prepare
Your children and grandchildren will know what to expect and possibly what they will get upon your passing. This allows them to plan for their future if they know what they will receive.
If you have any questions concerning estate planning, contact Goldberg and Associates.