Most people assume that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy but that is not the case. Do you have elderly parents? Assets like a bank account? A home? Grandchildren or children? If you have any of these, it’s important to have a comprehensive estate planning and it goes beyond more than just planning for taxes.
An estate plan is crucial for protecting your family when you pass away. However, it can also help you articulate your wishes over the course of your life should you become incapacitated. Naming a power of attorney allows an agent to step in and make decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so. One of the most important components of your estate plan is your last will and testament. A recent Gallup poll identified that only 44% of Americans had a will in 2016.
This crucial document tells everyone of your final wishes and yet over half of Americans certainly have not made one. This leaves much more up to chance and can lead to confusion and potential legal battles for your loved ones. In addition to having a last will and testament, you should also name beneficiaries on tax deferred accounts so that those pass directly to the individuals specified outside of your will. Retirement accounts and life insurance falls into this category. If you have further questions about the estate planning process and how to draft it in a manner that serves your individual needs, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer today.