Although discussing aging and money with family members can be difficult, having a financial plan can reduce conflict and protect surviving family members.
If you work with an experienced estate planning attorney, your loved ones will know your wishes for medical care, final arrangements, and assets. While losing a parent or spouse is never easy, having an estate plan in place allows the bereaved to focus on honoring their memory and working through their grief rather than dealing with legal jargon or emotionally charged family disputes.
Below are three important reasons to start your estate planning sooner than you might have realized.
Nobody expects to die young, but we must prepare for the worst if we have children. A Trust-focused plan that includes nominations of guardians, all part of a properly structured estate plan, comes into play here. You’ll want to name guardians for your children if both parents die before they reach the age of 18. This will ensure they get the care you would like. The courts will decide who will raise your children if you don’t have proper legal documents naming these guardians.
You can reduce the amount of your estate that goes to Uncle Sam while increasing the amount that goes to Aunt Sally if you prepare ahead. Other tax-planning techniques, such as strategic charitable giving, can help you reduce the tax bite. Clever structuring flexible retirement plans, such as a Roth IRA, can help direct more tax-free funds.
If you put an estate plan into place, you’ll be better prepared to handle rapidly approaching issues. Tax and estate tax deadlines may often begin on the date of death. As a result, the estate is liable to incur interest or fines if there is a delay administering the estate.
Establishing and maintaining an estate planning strategy is to avoid disputes in the future. The Trust allows you to decide who will manage your finances and properties if you become mentally incapacitated or die, preventing family discord and ensuring they manage your assets as you intended.
It will also assist you in making individualized arrangements, such as for a child with health issues or establishing a trust for a child who might otherwise squander their inheritance. It can also provide more to the child who took on most of the responsibility of caring for you in your later years, or less to the child whose comprehensive schooling you paid for while paying much less for their siblings. An estate plan gives you creative options.
While estate planning can take some time and money up front, it helps you avoid many more serious issues down the road. If you don’t implement an estate plan, the state will do what it thinks is best, which is very unlikely to be what you would want. Would you trust the government with your estate?
Law Offices of Andrew Cohen can help you create, change, or complete an estate plan. Allow our Santa Clarita estate planning lawyers to assist you in putting your trust and estate plan in place right now. Please click here or call 661-481-0100 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and needs.