Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Having an estate plan in place is critical to ensuring what will happen to your estate—your assets, property—and how your family will be taken care of when you pass away. You no doubt are interested in how your final wishes are carried out and how your assets will be disbursed to any people or organizations you care most about.

An estate plan can effectively preserve your wishes for how you want your estate dealt with, and a good estate plan will help you avoid taxes, legal fees, and court costs.

Essentially, your estate plan consists of setting out in advance and naming whom you would like to receive the things you own after you die.

A good estate plan will also:

  • Provide a guide for passing on your values on top of your valuables
  • Contain instructions for your care if you are disabled before your passing
  • Select a guardian and inheritance manager for any children not of age
  • Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits
  • Provide funds for loved ones who are less than capable of handling the money themselves
  • Include life insurance to take care of your family after you pass away

Estate planning is not only for those who about to retire or are financially well-off. On the contrary, it is those with more modest assets who can least afford to lose them to probate court or other risks.

What if I don’t have an estate plan?

If you fail to have an estate plan put in place, should you become somehow disabled and are unable to conduct business, a state court will control how your assets are used to care for you through a conservatorship or guardianship rather than your family. Such court measures are often expensive and time-consuming and can even become difficult to end if you recover.

Similarly, if you pass away without a working plan, your assets will be distributed according to the wishes of the probate court in your state. The court will control any inheritance for any minor children you have.

Given the risks involved with failing to have an estate plan in place, you should speak with an Orlando estate planning attorney right away to discuss how you want your assets handled in the event you become incapacitated or pass away. Speak with Haynes & de Paz, P.A. for a free consultation.

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