Estate Planning Basics: When to Start It
Having a plan for your estate after your passing is important, so is knowing the estate planning basics. Here’s when you should start it.
A recent survey shows that 67% of Americans don’t have an estate plan.
Estate planning involves deciding who’ll receive your assets in case of your untimely demise. It’s an important part of ensuring your wealth and assets go to your heirs as intended.
Keep reading to learn more about the basics of estate planning and when to start it.
Estate Planning Basics
Estate planning can give you and your family peace of mind. It enables your heirs to keep more of your wealth.
Also, it’s especially beneficial for minimizing tax liability if you were to pass. Experienced Chandler estate planning attorneys can ensure your family enjoys these benefits.
With an estate plan, you can provide clear end-of-life directives. It’s a set of instructions directing your affairs if you should become incapacitated—or worse.
Regrettably, many people don’t create and execute an estate plan.
Benefits of Estate Planning
With estate planning, you can help your family avoid unfortunate scenarios. Without an estate plan, you leave it up to the courts to decide what’s best for your family.
Depending of the size your estate an estate plan will help you to reduce taxes.
In addition, your estate plan can help to minimize family disagreements. It clearly outlines how you wish to have your wealth distributed.
With an estate plan, you can avoid the time and expense involved with distributing your assets through probate court. Moreover, it will help keep your family assets in the family.
Types of Estate Plans
Some people can benefit considerably from estate planning. Nevertheless, people of all income levels overlook it. Estate planning is essential—no matter your amount of wealth.
There are several types of estate planning. For example, you should name beneficiaries when you over a brokerage or bank account. Or if you create a Living Trust you should name your Trust as a beneficiary.
There are also more complex and comprehensive estate plans. Let’s go over the most common estate plans and things you should consider.
You should assign beneficiaries with every opening of a financial account. These accounts might include brokerage or insurance products. Usually, a provider will ask you to name a beneficiary for these kinds of accounts.
You can also divide your assets between multiple beneficiaries. You can even name contingent beneficiaries in case something unfortunate happens to your primary beneficiaries.
A beneficiary designation usually takes precedent over any other declaration.
Unfortunately, death isn’t the only event in which people find they can’t make decisions. Some people succumb to events leaving them alive but incapacitated.
If this happens, you can make a clear statement of your wishes with a living will. It’s an invaluable tool should this kind of adverse event occur.
For example, you can create a living will to detail your wishes for end-of-life care. These wishes can include your consent to specific treatments. Alternatively, they can include treatments you don’t want to receive if you become incapacitated.
There are many kinds of trusts. The concept of a trust may sound complex. However, it’s a relatively straightforward concept. The Trust law in the estate of Arizona are some of the best in the United States as well.
A trust is a legal instrument that enables a third party to hold assets for a beneficiary (either primary or contingent). It can give you several estate planning options.
Most importantly, a trust properly funded enables your assets to avoid the probate process entirely. It also affords your family considerable privacy.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament, also know as will, is an important part of an estate plan. It directs the distribution of your assets that don’t have a designated beneficiary.
You can assign an executor for your estate, otherwise the courts will assign an executor to carry out the will and manage the distribution of your assets. A Last Will and Testament is an important instrument specially if you are planning to apply for government benefit like Medicaid.
When to Start Estate Planning
If you’re wondering when to write a will, there’s a simple answer. Today is the right time to start your estate planning.
You may be the breadwinner of the family. You may have children and grandchildren.
Alternatively, you may have just started your first job after college. In either case, there are plenty of good reasons to plan your estate now.
If you’re young and single with relatively little wealth, you may assume you don’t need to create an estate plan or write a will. However, an estate plan can help your parents pay for burial and funeral expenses. It can also ensure they have access to your assets if needed.
Getting Help from an Estate Lawyer
The idea of planning your estate may feel intimidating. However, many people feel relief once they’ve completed the process. They know they’ve taken care of their family if something unfortunate should happen. Also some people think estate planning is expensive, estate planning can be affordable. There are lawyers that make the process easy and very affordable.
An exceptional estate planning attorney in Chandler, AZ can walk you through the process. They’ll show you how to use trusts, wills, power of attorney, and living wills to plan your estate. These kinds of documents ensure you’ve protected your family if you should become incapacitated.
They also ensure others follow your wishes if you were to pass. Moreover, estate planning offers exceptional liability protection for your family.
We’ll Help Keep Your Family Safe
Now you know more about estate planning basics and when to start estate planning. Citadel Law Firm PLLC is a trusted counsel whether you need guidance for a probate matter, estate planning, a living will, or a living trust in Arizona.
We offer several services to protect you, your family, and your assets. Our priority is customer service. We make every effort to make end-of-life planning a pleasant conversation.
Feel free to schedule your free estate planning consultation today, click here or call (480) 565-8020. Call today, we will be pleased to help.