Yes, estate planning is an effective way to protect you and your assets from the uncertainties of the future. But—perhaps more importantly—estate planning also protects the people you love in countless ways. Estate planning is a gift for your family members and loved ones: it shows them how important they were to you, helps eliminate the squabbling that so often comes with the death of a family member, and provides them with a clear outline of what to do—and how to do it—after you pass away.
Dying without an estate plan can create major complications for your family and loved ones. While we understand that thinking about what you want to happen after you die is uncomfortable at best, it’s important not to look at it as a death sentence. Rather, look at it as a way to gain the utmost peace of mind, knowing that there is a legally-binding plan in place for what will happen to your children, assets, and loved ones should tragedy strike. Also, look at it as a way to simplify the lives of those you leave behind:
Probate Avoidance in Missouri
Probate is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of paperwork…and, oftentimes, a lot of money. Keep the court out of your affairs by setting up a trust with an estate planning attorney. In addition to the use of trusts, the simple act of setting up beneficiary designations can streamline the process of passing along your assets when the time comes.
Reduce Estate Taxes
A qualified estate planning attorney can help you make decisions that will pay off huge in the long-run…quite literally. For example, the decision of whether to gift your child with property before you die versus drafting an estate plan that passes your property down to them after you die can have major tax implications. An estate planning lawyer can educate you about the ramifications of your decisions, so that you set your loved ones up to save money on taxes.
Distribute Monetary Assets in a Specific Way
If you have minor children or grandchildren in your life, and you’d like to leave them an inheritance, chances are you don’t want them to receive it all at once, or at least until they’ve reached a certain age or accomplished certain milestones. Likewise, if someone you love struggles with addiction issues, is financially irresponsible, or is married to someone you don’t trust, an effective estate plan can outline how and when your loved ones should receive their inheritances, and ease your mind while you’re still here.
In so many ways, estate planning is an act of kindness that your family and loved ones will appreciate—more than you know! To learn more, we suggest speaking to an experienced attorney to learn the basics of estate planning from some of Missouri’s most trusted estate planning attorneys, contact us to start the conversation about protecting your family and loved ones through estate planning.