Estate planning is essential for protecting your assets and ensuring that your loved ones receive your property as you intend when you are gone. Failing to go through estate planning means that your assets will become the subject of a probate case in your state, and your loved ones may only receive a fraction of what you own. Don’t put estate planning on the back burner. Here are five things you need to know.
Estate plans aren’t just for the rich.
Many people mistakenly believe that estate plans are only for the wealthy. In reality, anyone who has property needs an estate plan. The question isn’t the value of your assets. If you have money in a bank account, a car, a home, or any other possession that your loved ones should receive after you’re gone, then you need an estate plan.
A will is not an estate plan.
Wills give instructions about how you want your assets to be distributed. Without an estate plan, however, those assets will still go through probate court before they go to your loved ones, which also means legal fees and court costs. Probate court matters are also typically public, which means that people you have excluded from your will could see the case and come forward to put in a claim. An estate plan will prevent this.
Estate planning reduces confusion.
Going through the estate planning process with a professional will help you avoid potentially costly mistakes. Simply using the wrong word when you designate beneficiaries can set off a cascade of legal problems that are easily avoided with the help of a professional.
An estate plan protects you from tax issues.
Part of estate planning is considering the tax implications of the inheritances you are leaving. With an estate plan, you can structure things in a way that minimizes the tax burden on your family.
You don’t have to wait until retirement.
Many people believe that estate planning is something that happens after retirement. The truth is that it is never too soon to have a plan, and in fact, estate planning when you’re young will give you piece of mind.
THPK Certified Public Accountants in Steamboat Springs, CO is committed to helping families make the right decisions for their financial security. Make an appointment for estate planning by calling (970) 879-1787.