Almost 55 percent of Americans don’t have a will to guide their loved ones on what to do after they pass away.
You love your family and chances are, you’ll do anything you need to protect them. And while you can protect them from any kind of hardship right now, you won’t always be here for them.
There are steps you should take to ensure that your assets pass down to the right people. With the right will and estate planning lawyers, you can make sure the people you care about are taken care of when you can’t take care of them yourself. By having a will and making plans for your estate, you can avoid strenuous taxes and help keep your family out of probate court.
The laws surrounding how your assets pass down after you pass away are complex. It will hurt the ones you love if they’re left to navigate those laws alone, all while they’re grieving. If you leave the state to handle how things pass down, your family may never get the things you leave behind for them.
So, it’s best to plan your estate while you still have the chance. Keep reading below to learn more about the benefits of will and estate planning.
Will and Estate Planning Is Crucial for Your Family
When a family member passes away, the entire family suffers. The ones closest to the deceased hurt the most, and not just because they’re left to grieve the most. They also have to handle the paperwork and legal processes that govern how people process another’s death.
That means your family will need to sit with lawyers and sift through legal paperwork all while struggling to cope with their loss. But, if you make a plan for your estate, you will avoid the trouble for your family.
When you make a will and create an estate plan with qualified lawyers, you demonstrate how much you care about your family. Creating an estate plan is a final step you can take to protect them, so they will have something to remember you with. It’s also easy to get started on an estate plan.
Find a Lawyer You Can Trust
To start making an estate plan, you just need to contact an estate lawyer. Different firms in different states, like Estate Law Texas, specialize in working with people to make sure their estates are properly handled. Yet, you shouldn’t just contact a random lawyer to start the estate planning process.
Instead, you need to find a lawyer you can trust. You’re not going to be around to make sure the firm you go with actually processes your estate how they’re supposed to. There are several steps you can take to make sure the firm you go with is trustworthy.
You can talk to the people your community who had wills written by other lawyers. Ask who they went with and why they trust them to start forming your own opinion of different lawyers’ trustworthiness. You can also do your own research online and read reviews, or talk to other professionals about different firms.
Wills Will Help Avoid Estate Taxes
A plan for how you distribute your estate will do more than just show your family how much you love them. It will also protect your assets from many taxes that can take away your estate’s value. With basic estate planning, you can avoid a lot of estate taxes, or avoid inheritance taxes outright.
You can store assets in a living trust, or distribute different amounts to different people. When you distribute your estate in small amounts to a lot of people, you can avoid hefty taxes and keep your estate both intact and in your family.
You Need Professionals to Navigate Probate Court
Without a will or any sort of planning, the state will handle the way your estate passes down. It does this through probate courts, which work to determine who deserves what of a person’s estate. They try to ensure that fair amounts are distributed to beneficiaries, according to the law.
Yet, the law is long and complex. And effectively working with the courts takes a high level of expertise. That means your family will have to pay for a lawyer if you don’t leave a plan on how to handle your estate behind.
Your family may need to use the assets from your estate to pay for a lawyer, diminishing how much actually gets passed down to them. Otherwise, they may need to process paperwork themselves. And if your beneficiaries aren’t well versed in the law, they may lose a lot of your estate due to simple legal errors.
Paperwork Can Take to Years to Process
Leaving your estate to the courts will also mean your beneficiaries may not see a cent of your estate for years. The law is tedious, which means it may take years to process through the courts. By the time your beneficiaries gets control of your estate, it may be years later and they may have had to handle the costs associated with your death themselves.
Estate Planning Establishes Clear Beneficiaries
When you write a will or put your assets into a revocable or irrevocable trust, you designate specific beneficiaries for those assets. By doing this, you can avoid any of the issues about who gets what after a person passes away. People will know exactly where your assets should go.
Trusts can also be used to avoid allowing the government to claim more than its fair share of your estate, too. By putting something in an irrevocable trust, you lock it away until it’s passed down to the person it’s meant for. You won’t be taxed for such assets and your beneficiary will have fewer than if you hadn’t put anything in a trust.
The Future Is Coming, Plan for It Now
Will and estate planning services do more for you than just write a will. They guarantee the people you love will be protected when you’re not around to do so anymore. By planning for the future, you demonstrate how committed you are to the people around you.
And by setting clear guidelines on how people should handle your assets after you pass away, you guarantee they will go where they’re supposed to. They’re not just good ways to avoid taxes and preserve the integrity of your estate. They also help people navigate through the stress that comes after a person passes away.
Ready to learn more about how to plan for your future when it comes to finances? Make sure to browse our website where you can learn about that and more!