It can be difficult to think about what will happen to our possessions and assets after we pass away. However, creating an estate plan can bring peace of mind in knowing our wishes will be fulfilled. Estate planning can involve many tasks, such as naming account beneficiaries, creating a will, and settling debts. It can also involve making arrangements for the guardianship of children or pets. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process and ensure your wishes are properly documented and legally binding. By creating an estate plan, you can rest assured that your loved ones will be provided for and your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.

Puai Wichman explains why estate planning is crucial to ensure your loved ones are cared for and avoid potentially devastating consequences. Without a plan, you won’t know who gets what. Leaving your estate to chance is a risk you don’t want to take. Don’t leave your family with the burden of figuring out who gets what or dealing with legal battles. Take control of your estate planning, and give yourself peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be cared for after you’re gone.

The Benefits of Estate Planning

1. You are securing your legacy by designating your heirs.

Estate planning isn’t just reserved for the affluent. Whether you own a family home, a vacation property, investments, or valuable possessions, it’s crucial to determine who will receive your assets. If something happens to you or your breadwinners without a clear estate plan, the court will decide the fate of your belongings. However, this seemingly straightforward process can quickly become messy and contentious. Avoid family disputes and the unpredictable court system by taking over your legacy. With a well-crafted estate plan, you can ensure that your assets are passed on to the people you choose, sidestepping potential chaos and uncertainty.

2. You can override your pre-written will, referred to as an “intestacy statute.”

Did you know that your state already has a pre-written will for you? Unfortunately, it may not distribute your assets the way you want. But Puai Wichman mentions that you can override it by planning your estate in these ways:

– Create a valid will yourself

– Set up a revocable trust and transfer your assets

– Jointly own your assets

– Plan for asset distribution through a transfer on death (TOD) or beneficiary designation.

Each option has pros and cons, so it’s best to have an experienced estate planning attorney review your assets and documents for the best plan.

3. You can protect your young children’s future.

No one wants to contemplate the unthinkable – the possibility of dying young, especially when you have children. Ensuring your children’s well-being and safeguarding their inheritance involves setting up a will. Puai Wichman suggests designating guardianship for your children under 18 and outlining their inheritance, so you can know they will be cared for when they come of age. Don’t leave these important decisions to chance. Without a will, the courts will determine the fate of your assets and the guardianship of your children. Take control of your family’s future by making provisions in your will for who should raise your children if the unexpected happens.

4. You can appoint a conservator.

Puai Wichman suggests ensuring your children’s well-being by naming and protecting your assets by appointing a guardian or conservator for your estate. This designated person or institution will manage assets intended for your children’s inheritance following your distribution instructions. By bypassing the expensive probate process, your beneficiary designation can be efficiently fulfilled. Make the crucial decision of setting up a will, trust, or both to effectively distribute your assets after your passing.

5. You can help your heirs avoid overpaying taxes.

Don’t let taxes eat away at your hard-earned estate. Setting up an estate plan ensures that your assets go to your loved ones with minimal tax implications. Leave a lasting legacy for your heirs without sacrificing a chunk of your estate to state or federal taxes. Discover the power of AB, ABC, or revocable living trusts. These smart strategies can even help married couples steer clear of estate taxes altogether. And that’s just the beginning – there are numerous advanced techniques to slash the tax burden on your estate. Don’t leave your loved ones with a hefty tax bill. Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a personalized plan. Don’t delay – the costs of inaction can be significant. Take control of your legacy and secure your family’s financial future today.

Puai Wichman is the founder and CEO of Ora Partners, an international trust provider and wealth management firm.