- You need an estate plan to avoid probate
Probate is the painful and strenuous judicial procedure whereby the next of kin of a deceased person are required to prove his/her will in court as a valid document. Once the will is proven to be valid, the estate is then settled in accordingly. If the will is absent, the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in court. Not only is probate a long and tiring process, it is very expensive and can be overwhelming for an already grieving family. Hence, in order to make things easier for your family after your demise, you should consider creating an estate plan with an experienced lawyer.
- You need an estate plan to avoid family conflict
After a family member’s demise, the remaining members often tend to quarrel or argue in the light of one’s death. This often escalates to quarrels over property and estate, and members often take such matters to court. In order to avoid such ugliness and family conflict, it is recommended that individuals take care of such matters beforehand. An estate plan typically involves nominating who would take care of the estate, its distribution and management which lowers the chances of a family conflict significantly.
- You need an estate plan to avoid taxes
If you don’t have an estate plan it is very likely that you would lose at least one-fourth of your estate to taxes - both state and federal - and hence you should seek estate planning advice from an experienced estate planning lawyer in order to avoid the above. Many married couples are known to completely eliminate any taxes from their estate by using advice from their attorney and creating trusts which ensure that the transition of estate is handled as quickly and smoothly as possible.
- You need an estate plan to protect your beneficiaries
Other than the obvious fact that an estate plan covers who gets what after your demise, a major concerning point in an estate plan should be regarding who will take care of your loved ones after you are gone. If your beneficiaries are minors, you’d have to appoint or nominate a guardian in your estate plan for them. However, in certain cases any adult beneficiaires you may have may also need a guardian to avoid them from making bad decisions, being under bad influences, or needing protection from a greedy spouse. You may dictate in your estate that a spouse or a partner is to be isolated completely from your beneficiary’s estate if you deem it appropriate.