Why You Should Have An Estate Plan

Many people mistakenly believe that if you’re not rich or you’re fairly young, you don’t need an estate plan. But there are a number of advantages that anyone can get from creating an estate plan. Below is a short list of the benefits you might enjoy by working with a lawyer to plan your estate.

Choosing Who Manages Your Estate

If injury, age or illness causes you to be unable to manage your affairs, it’s important to know that these matters will be in the hands of someone you trust. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, the courts may make this decision for you, placing someone in charge who would not have been your first choice. When you create an estate plan, you can give power of attorney to whoever you prefer.

Protecting Your Children

If you have young children, you should ask yourself who will raise them and what will happen to them if you should die. Again, if you have no estate plan in place that covers this topic, the decision will be made by the courts. Estate planning lets you select the guardian for your minor children.

Providing for Special Needs

If you have any children with special needs, having an estate plan in place will help to protect them financially. Otherwise, they might be unable to get SSI benefits or Medicaid, since their inherited assets might be counted against them. To prevent this, you can use an estate plan to establish a trust to provide for any expenses not covered by SSI or Medicaid.

Designating Who Gets Your Assets

An important part of any estate plan is creating a will. This will designates who gets your assets. If you die without leaving a will, your estate will be given to your family members based on your state’s laws. Often, these will not be the family members you would’ve chosen. Even if they are, they might not get the particular assets you wanted each one to have. Having a solid estate plan in place will prevent this from happening.

Passing on Your Business

If you own a business, you will probably want to be sure that it remains in your family’s hands in the event of your death. If you don’t have an estate plan in place that addresses this issue, you’re taking the chance that your family might lose control of your business. An estate plan established with a lawyer like one from McHugh Whitmore LLP Law Firm lets you choose who is going to control your business after your death.

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