What Is Estate Planning?
Nearly everyone has an estate believe it or not. Your estate includes everything you currently own – your home, car, checking and savings accounts, investments, personal possessions, etc. It doesn’t matter how big or modest your estate consists of, everyone has one. One problem that arises with your estate is that you cannot take it when you when you pass away.
The realization that eventually we will die is uneasy, but at the same time if you postpone your planning of your demise it could be too late. When that happens you are going to want to be able to control how your estate is divided between the people or organizations you care about most. Postponing your planning could hurt those that you love and they may not inherit what you would want them to due to unnecessary taxes, administration costs, and the disagreeing that can occur amongst your heirs. To be sure that your wishes are conveyed, you need to give specific instructions stating whom you would like to receive something from your estate and when they are to receive it. Of course you want these things to happen with the least amount of legal fees, courts costs and taxes.
To make all of these things possible, you will need an experienced estate- planning attorney. Estate planning is what makes a plan in advance, naming all of those who you would like to receive the things you own in your estate after you die. No matter how small your estate may be, it ensures that your property will go to the individuals you want it to and when you want. Not only does it allow you to decide what happens after you pass, it will allow your loved ones to mourn your loss without being simultaneously troubled with the unnecessary financial confusion. A good estate plan should also include:
- Instructions for your care in case you become disabled before you die
- The name of a guardian and an inheritance manager for children who are minors.
- Instructions for passing your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables.
- Where to transfer your business at your retirement, disability, or death
- Life insurance provided for your family at your death or disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to serious health issues.
- Protection for loved ones who may be irresponsible with money
- Instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die.
Estate planning is for everyone and should be a continuing process, not a one- time event. Your plan should be continuously updated as your financial situations and family change throughout your life. Knowing that you have specifically prepared a plan in place with detailed instructions will give you and your family relief incase something heartbreaking were to occur. Estate planning is one of the most important and thoughtful things you can do for your loved ones.
If you think that estate planning in Michigan may be the right thing for you, or have a loved one that needs to start planning their estate, contact a Grand Rapids estate planning attorney today. We provide estate planning services to the entire state of Michigan from our three convenient offices. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION at (616) 942-6404.