We can never put enough emphasis on the importance of having an organized estate. None of us know when we’ll be gone, which is why it’s imperative to have a plan early. Otherwise, we run the risk of creating confusion for our families and would-be benefactors.
Let’s review these important reasons for having an estate plan.
Why Having an Estate Plan Is Important
- Protect Your Beneficiaries (Especially Children)
- Think about the various assets you own: your house, cars, retirement plan, stock shares, boats, precious metals, jewelry, and so forth. That’s a lot to keep account of, but not all of those items are liquid or fungibile, which adds to the complexity whenever your estate passes on to your beneficiary. You can protect them from legal conflicts by strictly defining all terms and details.
- This is especially true when children (minors) enter the picture. If they aren’t old enough to adjudicate an estate after you die, then you’ll have to assign trustees, which obviously requires careful consideration.
- Spare Your Beneficiaries an Onerous Tax Burden
- Even if it’s easy to tell who would inherit your assets, estate planning has just as much to do with taxes as anything else. Your goal is to plan in such a way as to incur upon them the lowest possible tax burden. Don’t forget that this varies by state. Florida has no state income tax, but you could expect to approach things differently in places like Illinois or New York.
- Prevent Family Conflict
- While there may be no way to perfectly prevent chaos and acrimony with only a written will, it can help to limit the damage.
- There’s something called probate court. You want to avoid having a probate judge or someone else decide how your assets are distributed. The best way is to make your intentions clear, thereby deflecting the potential for your family members to fight among themselves (or with the state).
- Your beneficiaries might fight over how much they think they deserve. This is your chance to settle the dispute preemptively by telling them exactly what they deserve in no uncertain terms. Then it’s settled once and for all.
We hope this cultivates your interest in getting your estate in order soon. Don’t forget that Kenneth J Nota’s office provides generous assistance in this matter as well as anything to do with trusts and other contracts and business matters.
Constructing a good will isn’t difficult per se, but it’s worthwhile having a competent legal advisor review it for you. It’s a good way to avoid the aforementioned headaches and confusion.
The Law Office of Kenneth J. Nota, located in Sarasota, FL, serves clients with expert legal services related to estate planning, commercial law, and more. contact us to learn more about planning your estate at 941-309-5270.