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There are a lot of good reasons to do estate planning. Unfortunately, many people put it off until tomorrow. But can we ever be sure we will have a tomorrow? Life is unpredictable. That is why estate planning is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to rest easy and have peace of mind.
Another good reason to do your estate planning is to avoid probate upon your demise. No one wants their children or heirs to have to go through a lengthy litigation period waiting for the courts to decide how their property will be dispersed. This should be your decision and not the decision of the courts. Having a trust or will can also clarify any issues that you believe might be a potential battleground for your children or heirs.
Placing assets in trusts — revocable or irrevocable — can also reduce estate and inheritance taxes. Married couples may be able to reduce or even potentially eliminate estate taxes by setting up trusts. In addition, trusts are excluded from probate unless there is a dispute filed by someone who is named in the trust, or someone who claims the trust is not legitimate or is being mishandled. Let your attorney explain the methods of using trusts to protect your assets.
Putting off estate planning can be detrimental if you suddenly become incapacitated. Estate planning usually includes a living will or power of attorney appointee who can make medical or financial decisions on your behalf. Someone may need to access your bank account to pay your bills or pay for your ongoing care.
Don’t put off estate planning. This will be a gift to your heirs or beneficiaries, who will forever thank you. They will be protected from having to make potentially tough decisions about your property and assets. This can leave them with guilt over their decisions and postpone their time to grieve. In the end, you’ll know that you can rest easy.