If You're Living and Breathing, You Need a Will!
You're Not Too Young and It's Not Too Late To Have an Estate Plan
There all sorts of excuses we make to put off having a plan after we pass. But we shouldn't. Everyone needs an estate plan. Here are some reasons why you should consult an attorney today so you can have a solid plan:
1. Peace of mind knowing that someone you trust will make the right health care decisions for you and manage your finances properly in the event you become incapacitated.
Single persons with partners aren't permitted to handle medical or financial decisions for each other without signed authorization. Even married couples benefit from having their wishes written down in clear legal documents. An attorney can create health care directives - including a durable power of attorney for health care and a living will and a durable power of attorney for finances - to ensure these critical decisions are made by someone you trust.
2. Choose who you want to care for your minor children if you’re unable to.
Perhaps the greatest peace of mind for parents with minor children is knowing who will take care of their children should something happen to them. An attorney can assist with identifying a good guardian and ensure your estate outlines the basic needs of your children.
3. Minimize taxes.
Nobody likes to pay taxes. Setting up a trust can help avoid estate taxes. Depending on a beneficiary's relationship, other transfer taxes may be avoided and they may qualify for an exemption or reduction in the amount of inheritance tax owed.
4. Help avoid costs, publicity, and delays.
A plan can streamline the probate process.
An estate plan for the young and single can be simple and include such items as beneficiary designations and medical and financial powers of attorney. Those with children should consider a will to name a guardian. If you have substantial wealth, you may need one or more trusts to help control how your assets are taxed, managed, and distributed.
Even if you already have a will or trust, it should be reviewed regularly. Things change! You should make updates as things in your life change so it continues to reflect your current intentions.
Written December 20, 2018 3:00 PM PT