What You Need To Know About Estate Planning
Do you consider estate planning a must-have in your life? Do you agree that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
Many of us agree that a “stitch in time saves nine,” and yet we end up “talking the talk without walking the walk.” Why is that?
You probably love your family and want the absolute best for them. The question becomes, is your love strong enough to inspire you to take action now? To face the cold, hard truth that one day, you will pass from this Earth? To take steps to protect your family with the best possible estate plan?
The biggest challenge for most of us? Facing our mortality. Coming to terms with the reality that there will come a time when we pass on from this world. Sadly, it often takes many decades of maturity, including witnessing other loved ones passing away for that fact to get through our thick skulls.
Let’s pray and assume that you live to a ripe old age. Let’s pretend that, ignoring statistics, you don’t succumb to tragedy that takes you from this world too soon. Let’s imagine you come to terms with your mortality before any unexpected catastrophe such that you take the necessary actions to plan your estate and protect your family legacy.
Otherwise, passing on unexpectedly without an estate plan leads to absolute devastation for your family. I speak from experience. My father unexpectedly left us at the youthful age of 64.
Thankfully, he had a basic estate plan set up. Sadly, he never let me update his 24 year old estate planning documents. The result? Hundreds of hours of time-consuming effort from me and my immediate family, and hundreds of thousands of dollars vanished. Monies that would have gone to my mother to ensure she enjoys the quality of life she deserves.
Eventually, we all come to terms with our mortality. For me, that day came as a complete surprise when the horrific call came in at 2:30am. It was my mother sobbing with the news that my father unexpectedly passed from this world.
For me, the experience has strengthened my resolve to help families like yours. To do all I can to prevent the countless challenges that come to you and your family without the best estate plan in place.
When the day comes that you recognize your mortality, you will know that you absolutely need to do whatever it takes to give your family the loving protection they deserve. You will know in your heart that it is an absolute must to show your love to your family, including doing what it takes to help them in the absolutely best way after your passing.
This is where estate planning comes into play. Not just a luxury for the mega wealthy, estate planning is for everyone with a family, regardless of how much accumulated assets you may have to pass on.
In today's world, most of us have comprehensive and complicated estates. The funny thing is? We don’t even realize it.
Your estate represents a major part of your legacy. It includes your wishes for your family, your physical, tangible assets, your financial and real estate assets, your digital assets (email, social media, and every account you access via computer), and your favorite charitable causes.
When is the time to set up your estate plan?
Like most of us, you’re probably very busy. Yet, you know that life only gets busier as time passes. Sadly, when death comes, we pray we are ready. By being “too busy” to prepare for the eventual reality, we pass on an immense burden to our loved ones.
What’s worse, with a weak or non-existent estate plan, the burden becomes absolutely devastating. Tremendously time-consuming and the financial costs become exorbitant. Trust me, I know from personal experience.
For the rest of this article, I want to share with you the basic components of proper estate planning.
Your Last Will and Testament
This official document is the foundation of your estate planning, ensuring your assets do not go through probate court. Avoiding probate is an absolute must. We discuss more of the reasons why in this article.
Your last will and testament serves legal notice that your wishes are set forth in your Living Trust, the private document that does the heavy lifting of your estate planning.
Your Living Trust
This official document creates the entity that offers the maximum protections under law. It keeps your information confidential and private. Otherwise, your entire estate would become public record through the probate process. It would also become vulnerable to any number of dangers that would result in the estate value diminishing drastically.
Your living trust, also known as an inter vivos revocable trust, will set forth instructions for your family and your assets. For more details, enjoy this additional resource.
Your Power of Attorney - Financial & Health Care
These legal documents allow your estate to be managed properly when you’re unable to do so. Whether you’ve already passed on, become disabled, or are considered mentally incompetent, these documents give your trusted love one the ability to execute on your wishes.
Without these documents, your family and your wishes will be blocked from making decisions on your behalf. The power of attorney documents are the legal method to ensure someone on your behalf follows your wishes. For more in depth explanations, you’ll find this article valuable.
Choosing Your Estate Planning Lawyer
Like with any service, there is a wide spectrum of quality when it comes to the professional providing the service. The question you must ask yourself, do you know, like, and trust the estate planning attorney who will help you? Are you confident that he or she is capable and experienced in creating the best protections afforded by law when it comes to your exact needs?
Choose your estate planning lawyer wisely. By selecting the best expert for you and your family, you will have the greatest sense of peace of mind knowing that every detail has been taken care of. You will sleep better at night knowing that everything has been thought through, and most importantly, that your wishes will be followed.
Be vigilant when it comes to the do-it-yourself estate planning options that exist today. You can find DIY options ranging from free to a few hundred bucks to a few thousand dollars. If you are a practicing attorney with estate planning training, then it may be something to consider to prepare the documents yourself.
Otherwise, the unfortunate reality is that DIY solutions rarely work as intended. Attempting to save a few bucks will likely cost you hours of time now and hundreds of hours of time later. Not to mention the mega financial impact as a huge portion of your financial assets disappears before your loved ones’ eyes.
Trust me when I say, your family is worth getting the process done right. You built a legacy to pass to your loved ones over a lifetime. Please consider doing the absolute best for those you hold most dear. Don’t make a mistake that devastates the future welfare of your family.
Next Steps On Your Journey To Protecting Your Legacy?
Already you’re on the right path. You’re reading this article as you research what you need to know when it comes to estate planning. I strongly suggest you continue your quest to educate yourself. Get as much knowledge as possible on what is involved with estate planning and who you want to entrust with preparing your documents.
For more information, check out the free resources we offer on our free info page. You may also enjoy the additional articles we’ve published to help you understand the process.
When you’re ready to talk about your family’s specifics, let’s schedule your free consultation. It’ll be my absolute pleasure to discuss the specifics for your family’s exact needs. Whether you decide to take action now to set up your estate plan or are simply looking to get more information, take advantage of your free consultation.
Remember, life is precious and shorter than we can imagine. Family is everything. Nothing is more important than ensuring your loved ones have the best protection possible. Show your love by taking the steps necessary now to allow for your wishes for your family to come to fruition later.
Contact me now for your free consultation.
7 Benefits Of Estate Planning: Wills & Power of Attorney - Learn more about why estate planning helps you and your family.
5 Advantages A Living Trust Brings Every Family - Learn the meaning and the advantages that living trust can bring to your family.
Free Estate Planning Resources - enjoy these free resources to help you better understand the Estate Planning process.