All of us want to leave a legacy behind. Specifically, we want to leave a better life for our children, our grandchildren, and everyone else who comes after us. That’s one of the main stimuli for estate planning. It’s through the estate planning process that you can ensure your loved ones are well taken care of, even after you’ve passed on. And make no mistake: Estate planning trusts, no matter how many or how few assets they contain, can go a long way toward securing a better future for your heirs.
That’s the big picture, but there are really a number of key benefits that estate planning can provide. Here are three of the more major ones.
We’ll start with one of the more obvious points. Through a family will and related trusts, you can leave behind financial assets for your heirs; their trust inheritance might include funds that they can use to carry on their lives even after you’re gone.
Such funds can be used in a variety of ways; for example, they can pay off any expenses associated with your own end-of-life care or your funeral. This ensures that your death doesn’t leave your heirs with any kind of a financial burden. But these funds can also be used more generally, for whatever purposes your heirs desire.
But do you really need an estate plan and a revocable trust for this? Won’t your assets pass down to your loved ones even without a family will or trust? Not necessarily. It’s more likely that your assets would pass through probate court, and the value of your estate might be significantly reduced by taxes and fees. By working with a wills and estate planning attorney, you can eliminate this risk.
Reiterating the value of asset protection, we’ll note that working with a wills and estate planning attorney can help preserve the overall value of your estate. State and federal laws impose taxes and fees on estates of a certain size, which means the amount left to your heirs is diminished. But with the right estate planning strategies, you can help to avoid some of those tax burdens. (And there are a number of options here, like AB trusts to deal with taxes.)
That’s one of the main jobs of the estate planning lawyer: To help ensure that your estate is passed down to your intended heirs as seamlessly as possible, with minimal imposition from the courts. This ensures a better outcome for your heirs, and greater peace of mind for you.
So far, we’ve focused on estate planning as a tool to protect a trust inheritance, and to secure a better life for your family members. That’s certainly important, but don’t forget that estate planning can also help you. Specifically, it allows you some control over end-of-life decisions.
A good estate plan will include powers of attorney and advanced healthcare directives, all of which help you clarify your wishes should you ever become medically incapacitated. Who do you want making financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf? And should you ever find yourself on life support, would you like to remain that way, or be taken off life support? Estate planning can help you formally express your wishes.
In other words, estate planning provides more control over the future—for you and for the heirs you’ll leave behind. As such, it’s not something to leave up to chance. Make sure you have the proper wills and trust administration in place by reaching out to a wills and estate planning attorney. Contact Singh Law Firm, a leading provider of estate planning in California, to get started.