(south Florida reporter) -- Your obligations to your family or loved ones do not stop even if you have already passed on.
If your family, especially your kids, are still heavily dependent on you, you can still provide for them through proper estate planning even if you are no longer present.
Putting off estate planning is never a good idea.
Life can bring you unexpected moments and before you know it, everything is too late.
Estate planning is neither meant for elderly people nor rich people only.
Having an estate plan early is advisable for everyone, regardless of their financial status or number of properties, especially if they have a family that is heavily dependent on them.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of arranging the disposal of your assets when you die. It is designed to protect your family or loved ones from complications regarding your assets and finances when you pass on.
This is a procedure often observed by rich people, but they are actually designed for everyone, as they have the same privileges even if their assets are limited, or if they still have debts.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Most people think that they don’t need estate planning but, unfortunately, they are wrong. No one knows what can happen to you in the future.
Estate planning is one way of making sure that all your assets will be properly taken care of by your loved ones if the time comes that you are no longer able to make your decisions due to incapacitation or death.
Protection of Your Assets
Without estate planning, a judge will appoint someone who will handle your assets and finances when you die.
Not to mention that the person the judge will be appointing will likely be an outsider, which can make the process more lengthy and difficult.
If you have debts and you don’t have an estate plan when you pass away, your assets will be distributed to your creditors first and the rest will be to your family or relatives.
If you don’t have a family member or relative as your beneficiary, your assets will go to the state.
So, if you want to protect your assets even after you die, you need to prepare an estate plan in advance. You also have to make sure that your estate plan will include all the beneficiaries whom you want to inherit your assets.
Having too much wealth or assets can also be a disadvantage because you’ll have to pay state and federal taxes.
Having an estate plan is one way of reducing your tax burdens.
This is why it’s a good idea to work with a professional who is an expert in estate planning, like Brian Douglas, to help you with making smart decisions regarding your assets, and to potentially reduce the inheritance taxes and probate upon your demise.
Gives You Control and Management Over Your Assets
Having an estate plan gives you total control and management over your assets even if you pass away. This is extremely important because, without an estate plan, this is can be difficult to achieve.
With a proper estate plan, your final wishes regarding your assets will be laid down in a legal document. Every single one of your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries according to your final wishes, which are written in the appropriate legal documents after you pass away.
This process will also relieve your loved ones from having to deal with the distribution of your assets, which can become very complicated if they are going to do it without your will.
More often than not, family feuds arise from the process of distributing assets without a will as some family members or relatives may feel entitled to get more than what is allotted to them.
To avoid this from happening, have a good estate plan in place.
Take note that if you create an estate plan early, you’ll need to update it every once in a while, or if there is a significant life event that occurred. Your estate plan should be ever-changing since your assets can also change.
The key is to find an experienced estate planning lawyer who can help you draft the legal documents that will ensure your family is taken care of after you pass away.