You may have been working for years to acquire your home, car, and other personal possessions. But what happens to your valuables and other worthwhile investments after you die? Fortunately, you have full control through estate planning. It is a way to plan for your assets’ outcomes after your passing by naming the people or organizations you want to receive your belongings.
Now that you know the essence of estate planning, it’s also vital to learn more about the truth about it. This is especially important because there are various misconceptions surrounding it. Here are some facts about it that you should know:
Fact #1: Estate planning is for everyone
Estate planning is not just for retirees or the wealthy. In fact, believe it or not, you have an estate. It includes your house, car, bank accounts, investments, and other personal possessions. In other words, these are all the things that you cannot take with you when you die. Since nearly everyone has it, estate planning is significant and applicable for all.
The reason why retirees and the wealthy tend to prioritize estate planning more is that they get more concerned about preserving their possessions and keeping them within either their family or among their friends. But no matter how modest or insignificant you think your estate is, you have the right to use it according to your discretion.
Even if you cannot successfully predict future outcomes, accidents and illnesses, you can ensure your assets end up in their rightful owner when you invest in estate planning early. You can also prevent your loved ones from suffering more from detrimental loss of time and funds by entrusting your estate to them.
Fact #2: Estate planning is more than just about distributing your assets when you die
Estate planning mainly lets you choose who inherits your assets and finances after you die, but you can also benefit from it if you become permanently disabled or mentally incapacitated. Here are some ways an estate plan can help you in the event of incapacity:
- Assign guardians of minor children
- Designate a healthcare surrogate
- Authorize a designated agent who will make financial decisions on your behalf
- Authorize a successor trustee to administer your trust assets on your behalf
Fact #3: Your estate consists of more than just liquid assets
Imagine this: you pass away unexpectedly, and your family members are pitted against each other because each of them thinks they deserve to get your assets, or they should be in charge of your money. Worse, this squabbling ends up in court. The good news is that you can stop this family feud before they start through proper estate planning.
Note that your estate’s value will also likely grow over time and may be subject to taxation. The good news is that the estate pays any tax that is owed to the government before being distributed to the beneficiaries.
Common myths have led many to believe that estate planning is unnecessary. But now that you know the surprising facts about it, now is the best time to take the necessary steps to make carrying out your plan as hassle-free as possible. All you need to do is find and consult with a qualified attorney who can help you protect the interests of yourself and your loved ones.
If you’re looking for a wills and estates lawyer who can preserve your best interests, feel free to reach out to Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP. We also have experience in family law and residential conveyancing. Contact us to schedule an appointment!