Plan Your Estate

Plan Your Estate

Eleven reasons to plan your estate…

Estate Planning can:

  1. Minimize risk for you and your family from accidents, medical incidents, and dementia.
  2. Provide stability for your family.  A Durable Power of Attorney can minimize family fighting and turmoil because you’ve named who will be in charge and given them the authority to be in charge.
  3. Avoid Probate. A very common reason people give to plan your estate is to avoid probate. The proper combination of will substitutes and a Trust can avoid probate for the majority of, if not all, your property and assets.
  4. Minimize Fees.  Lawyers love probate.  They can collect hefty fees ranging from 3-5% of the GROSS estate (the GROSS estate is the value of the property without subtracting off debts or what is owed).  This is before all creditors are paid.
  5. Minimize Taxes.  If you happen to be in the 1% that will owe estate taxes, planning can minimize the sting.
  6. Distribute your assets according to your wishes.  Another common reason for planning is to make sure what you have goes to who you want, in the amounts you want, how you want, when you want.
  7. Maintain privacy. If you don’t plan, then your private affairs are going to be exposed in Probate and/or Guardianship proceedings.
  8. End of life the way you want, with dignity.  Without end of life directives, you could lay in a hospital bed for 15 years or more.  Terri Schiavo didn’t have end of life directives.  Her husband and mother fought for 15 years to decide her fate.
  9. Provide for minor children.  If you don’t name the person you want to raise your children if you can’t, the Judge will decide.
  10. Protect special needs children. If you have a child with special needs, they need special planning.
  11. Protect adult children with addictions, spending problems, and divorce. If you have children with addictions, spending problems, tax liens, and more, you can use a Trust to protect the bulk of their inheritance.

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