People who don’t have an estate plan often don’t realise the impact that this will have should they die. While it may be many years before this unfortunate event occurs, no one can be really sure so it is wise to contact your family or experienced commercial lawyers to draw up such a plan to protect your assets. An estate plan does even more than protect assets, of course. It can also detail how you want to be taken care of should you no longer be able to tell anyone, such as in the case of a stroke or debilitating injury. Here is how an estate plan can help you.
- It will identify all those loved ones you wish to benefit by giving them some of your assets. Without an estate plan, this is unlikely to happen.
- An estate plan will ensure that your assets and property are transferred to your heirs as soon as possible and for as little cost as possible.
- It minimises the amount of tax your estate will have to pay before it can be transferred to your family or other beneficiaries.
- It can utilise aids such as living trusts and special bank accounts to reduce the amount of time before a beneficiary receives your assets and it can also reduce the costs of probate.
- It will dictate your will regarding how you want to be cared for if you are unable to express it verbally due to illness or injury.
- It can also describe how you want your funeral to be and how it should be paid for. This can be a good thing if you want something particular to happen regarding your funeral.
- It will state who should do all the work of administering your estate by appointing an Executor, or more than one, as the case may be.
When your family are grieving for their loss, it is difficult for them to make good decisions about things such as health care and funerals that are fraught with emotional pain. When you have everything laid out in plain language it will ease the strain that your loved ones must necessarily endure to get everything sorted out.
Whether you have a small estate such as a car and a few thousand dollars in a bank account, or whether you have a complicated estate with lots of real estate, bank accounts in several banks, stocks and bonds, life insurance policy and assets such as a boat, artwork or jewellery, an estate plan can ensure that your wishes are adhered to in the event of your death.
Both you and your loved ones can have peace of mind once that is all sorted out and you are sure that your wishes will come to fruition.