While it might be difficult for some of us to consider our own mortality, it’s crucial to plan for what should happen to our assets when we pass away. Creating an estate plan is a gift you can give to your most cherished family and friends. A plan can clearly outline your final wishes, prevent dilapidation of your assets and help your loved ones avoid contentious and costly battles over property and other assets.
Everyone should have an estate plan, regardless of the size of your estate, but far too many people put it off until it’s too late. The New York estate planning lawyers at Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP put together this list of the top six reasons why everyone should have an estate plan. Keep reading.
Protecting You and Your Family
The future isn’t promised to any of us, young or old. Planning your estate means ensuring that your rights and wishes are protected if you’re physically or mentally incapacitated. Furthermore, if you do suddenly pass away, having an estate plan in place means you can look after your surviving family members and, depending on the circumstances, ensure that financially vulnerable members are protected against future creditors as well as their own poor financial planning
The probate process, where the courts determine whether someone’s will is valid after they die, can be quite costly and time-consuming for your beneficiaries. Probate proceedings are also public records, which gives anyone who wants it access to your private documents. But with proper estate planning, your heirs can avoid the probate process entirely, saving them extra effort and money. You’ll also keep the records of your estate out of the public eye.
Minimize Family Disputes
We’ve all heard tragic stories of family disputes over inheritances. Not only do these disputes pit family members against each other, the cost of a drawn-out court battle can also be substantial. By doing advanced preparation and clearly stating your wishes through your estate plan, you can save your surviving family members a lot of time, money, and heartache.
Reduce Estate Taxes
An estate plan can help ensure that as much of your estate as possible is passed down to your heirs. Placing your assets in an irrevocable trust or other tax planning vehicles can help to minimize the potential tax burden on your future beneficiaries..
Adequately Locate Your Assets
Depending on the size of your estate, you may have many different assets located in many different places: bank accounts, stocks and bonds, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, real estate, etc. When you die, you want all your assets to be accounted for and easy to locate so they can be properly allocated to your beneficiaries. An estate planning attorney can help take care of this for you by crafting an estate plan that meets your wishes and goals.
Prepare for Your Own Incapacity
A well-structured estate plan takes into consideration not only events that occur after your death, but also during your lifetime when you may become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself. While you are of sound mind, you can sign documents that nominate individuals whom you trust to handle both your personal financial and healthcare decisions, and avoiding such decision being determined by a judge in a potentially costly and time-consuming guardianship proceeding.
Contact a Manhattan Estate Planning Lawyer Today
At Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP, we know how important it is to you that your last wishes are known and followed. Our Manhattan estate planning lawyers can work with you to build an estate plan to fit your individual needs and situation. Get a free initial consultation today by calling our office in New York City or visiting our contact page.
Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP is one of the most highly regarded real estate and estate planning firms in New York City. Our team of top-rated real estate attorneys and estate planning lawyers have extensive knowledge, resources, and connections to help you achieve your goals and plan for the future.