If you have significant assets, an estate plan is imperative. The larger your estate, the more legal assistance you need. However, estate plans are not just for the wealthy. Everyone needs one.
This is partly because an estate plan goes beyond material assets.
Appointing emergency guardians for your children is essential to their welfare, regardless of your estate size. Designating someone to make health care decisions for you in case of disability is a concern everyone must face.
If you do not assign these roles, a judge will do it, and he may not choose who you would prefer.
Of course, material assets are basic to an estate plan, and appointing proxies to manage them is an excellent way to make certain your intentions are honored. Again, these decisions are not only for people with extraordinary wealth.
Regardless of your estate size, most everyone has some items of value. These include furniture, cars, jewelry, life insurance, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds.
If you do not plan who receives these valuable assets, when you die, they will be divided under the state laws of intestate succession.
This does not mean, as some believe, that all of your assets go to the state if you die with no will, or intestate. Priority is given to family members, but they may not be the ones you treasure most, and distant relatives may end up with a significant chunk of your estate.
Appointing an executor to honor your instructions after your death gives the control back to you. Those you care about most, as beneficiaries, will receive your assets, and the probate process will be more organized and fair.
The more significant your assets, the more legal assistance you will need in making sure your beneficiaries are treated fairly. With this goal, a qualified attorney will assist you in reducing or postponing the estate taxes they will otherwise face.
Regardless of your situation, you need an estate plan. To fully discuss your options, call the Law Office of Richard Nevins. Fill out our form so that we will fully understand your situation before we meet with you. A qualified attorney specializing in estate planning will advise you, so that your intentions for the future are fully respected.