If you haven’t established an estate plan yet, chances are you’ve heard from friends, family, and your local Estate Planning Attorney to begin the process. Once you acknowledge the importance of having a plan, it may seem like resorting to readily available “Do-It-Yourself” forms found online would be a convenient fix. While we love rolling up our sleeves and pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps for DIY projects, estate planning is not something we recommend you take on. There’s a lot of room for error and a lot of opportunities for regrets popping up in the future.
Avoiding Probate is best done with an attorney
One of the key objectives of estate planning is to prevent the application of the state’s intestate succession laws, which dictate how assets are distributed in the absence of a valid will or estate plan. This is better known as; avoiding probate. Regrettably, using self-made estate planning documents can often result in an incomplete distribution of assets, leading to the creation of an intestate estate. This defeats the very purpose of creating an estate plan in the first place, as it requires the initiation of legal proceedings to distribute the assets as per state laws, which is precisely what you were seeking to avoid through proper planning.
Young Families shouldn’t go with the easy estate planning options
Trusts, wills, and probate is often associated with older individuals or those with substantial assets, but estate planning is just as important for young families. A comprehensive estate plan is essential for safeguarding the future of your loved ones and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of an unexpected tragedy.
Young parents and newlyweds should consider planning ahead. Here’s 3 reasons why:
Protecting Children until they become adults
If you have minor children, estate planning is crucial to ensure they are protected and provided for in the event of your untimely death. A will or trust allows you to appoint a guardian for your children and make provisions for their financial needs.
Planning Early can help you save on taxes
Estate planning can help you minimize taxes on your assets and ensure that more of your wealth is passed on to your beneficiaries.
Creating Healthcare Directives
Estate planning also includes health care directives such as living wills and powers of attorney, which allow you to make decisions about your medical treatment in the event that you are unable to do so.
There will always be a special reason you need specialized care
Some families with special needs children should carefully consider their estate planning options. In order to secure the future of your child with special needs, it is imperative to include provisions for them in your estate plan. While you may wish to be there for your child every step of the way and help them navigate the challenges associated with state and federal benefits, it is important to prepare for the possibility of not being able to do so. This is where a comprehensive plan, tailored to your child’s needs, becomes essential. A special needs trust is often the ideal estate planning solution for your family, and an experienced estate planning attorney can guide you in creating a trust that will provide for your child and safeguard their benefits.
Don’t take on estate planning by yourself
If you live in Andover, Essex County, or Massachusetts, give our firm a call. Our attorneys love working with families of all shapes and sizes to get them the planning they need to rest easy for years to come. Estate planning does not need to be complicated but doing it by yourself is also not recommended. Check out our online resources like our articles on estate planning and Video FAQs to learn more about what we can do for you.