Like most people, many Pennsylvania residents to delay estate planning, especially if they are relatively young or in good health. People equate estate planning with death and most people would rather focus on the more enjoyable aspects of life, from home improvements to vacation planning and more. However, it’s important to remember that estate planning is about safeguarding the future for yourself and your family. Having no estate plan can have unfortunate consequences for you and your loved ones.
Below are three straightforward reasons to encourage you to appreciate the importance of a good estate plan. Investing a little time and effort in your estate plan now can save your family, friends, and colleagues turmoil and heartache in the future.
1. You can control to whom your assets are distributed
This is a big one. Without proper estate planning, the assets you worked so hard to acquire and protect during your life could end up in the hands of unintended individuals or organizations, or even the government. There are a number of ways to ensure your assets are distributed as you see fit. These include wills, trusts, contracts,life insurance policies, and more. Taking the time to decide which estate planning tool to use and to whom assets should be distributed is an important process that will give you peace of mind.
2. You can decide when and how your assets will be distributed
Estate planning can do more than just determine who receives your assets, it can also help you determine how and when your heirs, charitable organizations, or others obtain those assets. If you have minor children, you may wish to set up a trust so they won’t have full access to their inheritance until they are of a more responsible age. You could also have a disabled family member for whom you would like to provide, in which case a special needs trust could be established to ensure they are cared for properly in your absence. The earlier you begin to plan your estate, the more time you have to review all of the options available to you and to make the most informed decisions possible about your legacy.
3. You can save your estate from unnecessary taxes, court costs, attorneys fees, and probate procedures
With strategic estate planning, you can legally minimize the impact that state and federal tax laws will have on your assets. You can also minimize court costs and attorney’s fees. In addition, an estate planning attorney can help you make the most of probate. You may have assets that you wish to transfer in a discrete manner, or you wish to keep details concerning the ownership and transfer of some assets private.
Remember it is never too soon to start planning your estate and protecting your family’s legacy. To speak with an experienced estate planning attorney, please contact the Pennsylvania law offices of Shields and Boris.