Why Estate Planning Is So Important
Every adult should consider estate planning sooner rather than later. A properly prepared estate plan can achieve many advantages for the party doing the planning, as well as that party's family. Estate planning is not an exercise restricted to seniors, terminally-ill patients or the infirm. College students with cars and bank accounts, young parents who own homes and have minor children, and empty-nesters with real estate and retirement accounts should undertake important estate planning because each has an estate.
Tragically, almost 20 percent of Americans report experiencing difficulties personally after a loved one died or was incapacitated, due to a lack of proper estate planning. Contrary to popular belief and opinion, estate planning does not have to be complicated or expensive. Estate planning is also not restricted to a situation where a party has millions in her estate. The advantages of a properly planned and organized estate are manifold, and the disadvantages of not doing it are significant.
Major Advantages of Estate Planning
- An estate plan may shield family members and your estate from hefty tax burdens.
- An estate plan may protect your family and estate from expensive costs and fees.
- An estate plan permits a party and her family to solve complicated and emotional situations regarding distribution of certain assets, such as family heirlooms or highly desirable personal property sought by multiple parties.
- Estate plans permit a party to distribute assets in advance and to be prepared, so family members do not have to administer these tasks after you die when they are preoccupied by grief, emotions, and funeral and burial preparations.
Top 10 Estate Planning Goals
If you are convinced of the important need to undertake estate planning, what goals should you set for your estate plan? Consider the following:
- Estate planning can eliminate probate expense.
- Estate planning can reduce the time delays associated with probate.
- Estate planning can reduce federal tax burden.
- Estate planning can maintain the privacy of personal, financial and private matters.
- Estate planning can avoid confrontation and charged, emotional situations involving the distribution of estate assets, like family heirlooms.
- Estate planning can help parents provide for minor kids.
- Estate planning can review retirement accounts and named beneficiaries in retirement plans.
- Estate planning can maximize the flexibility of estate assets.
- Estate planning can help protect an estate from creditors.
- Estate planning can plan for medical emergencies and incapacity.