While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
Today, most people dedicate more of their time to plan a holiday, where they'll eat dinner, or which car they'll get instead of thinking about estate planning. Although these aspects of life are essential, you still need to think about what will happen to your assets once you are gone. After all, you worked so hard to own everything you have, and it's only fair that you give it to whomever you want. Assuming that estate planning is only for the wealthy and staying without a plan can affect your loved ones. The good news is that estate lawyers can guide you, so you don't make mistakes that will later affect your beneficiaries.
Still not sure if estate planning is necessary? Here are some of the goals you'll attain when you plan your estate.
Take care of your loved ones
One of the primary goals you will attain through estate planning is ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of when you are gone. You'll decide who gets what according to your preferences. Without planning, however, this will be impossible. Usually, the state chooses who gets what and even when they should get it — the guidelines they use to allocate the properties and assets will surely not match your preferences, particularly in large families or if you have kids from another marriage. The only way to ensure your wishes are carried out so you can provide for your loved ones is to draft an estate plan.
Avoid family disputes
At some point, you have heard about loving families that get to war once the breadwinner dies. Sometimes the wrangles may occur amongst the siblings because one thinks that they deserve to get a certain asset over the others. For instance, the firstborn may feel entitled to run the family company even though they are great when it comes to debt accumulation. Some of the family members will not support it, and the case may end up in court.
The best way to stop these ugly family fights that cause discord amongst loved ones is to plan the estate. This way, you'll select who controls your assets and finances when you pass on or become mentally debilitated. Your loved ones will respect your decisions.
Most states charge high taxes on assets owned at death. Other states even have a death levy, which doesn't mean that one is excluded from paying the sales, or employment taxes. Distributing your assets to your loved ones or donating to charity will eliminate or lessen charges.
For more information on estate planning, reach out to a local estate lawyer.