Five Tips For Planning Your Estate
Did you know that more than half of the adult American population does not plan their estate? If you’re part of this demographic, it’s essential for you to understand that your loved ones could experience all kinds of problems should you unexpectedly pass away.
Let’s look at some scenarios. If both parents die in an accident, the fate of their children will be decided by a judge. When a person without a will passes away, their assets may not be distributed in the manner they and their family expected them to be. Also, the lack of an estate plan can cost your family a lot of money in terms of fees and taxes at the time of distribution.
To save your family from unnecessary trouble and anguish, in case of unfortunate outcomes, it’s essential to prepare a will. However, as preparing a will requires legal knowledge, many people shy away from the task. To help simplify the task, the attorneys at The Quattro Firm, L.L.C. have created a list of five tips for planning your estate.
Tip #1: Plan early.
People often ask us why they need an estate plan because they don’t have anything. The truth is that it doesn’t matter if you have millions of dollars or just one dollar. Everyone needs an estate plan. The earlier you make the plan, the better it is. While it’s very unpleasant to think about who will raise your children if you aren’t around to do it, it’s better that you make that decision yourself, rather than leaving your family, or the State to fight about it.
Tip #2: Think hard.
You want to consider everything when deciding about your estate. You want to carefully think of whether or not your closest relative or spouse will be able to make life and death decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. If that person will be too distraught, who is your next choice? Who do you think can make those decisions? Also, when do you want someone else to make decisions for you? Do you think you can continue to make decisions for yourself if you were to get a life-changing diagnosis? It would help if you planned to discuss all of these things with your attorney, but ultimately, the decisions are yours to make.
Tip #3: Plan for back-ups.
You don’t just want to have one person listed as executor, power of attorney, or health care surrogate. Horrible accidents happen and what if that person passes before that document comes up? What if that person is incapacitated themselves? You want to have at least one back-up for every position in your estate plan. People often say that there is not another person left to put in that position. There is always someone, but you have to thoroughly think and prepare so that you have a plan.
Tip #4: Hire the right attorney.
When it comes to your estate, you want to be comfortable. People come to us with estate plans that they’ve created online which are improperly executed, improperly drafted, or which are for the wrong State. It would help if you had your estate plan created with someone you trust, someone whom you feel comfortable with, and someone who knows what they are doing. As a result, hiring the right lawyer is essential.
Tip #5: Update your plan.
If you’ve had a significant life event such as a marriage, birth of a child, a death in the family, or any other major life event, you should update your plan. You may not need to start from scratch, but merely make an amendment or a codicil to update. If it’s been more than ten years, it’s time to update your estate plan.
For more helpful tips about planning your estate, reach out to the legal experts at The Quattro Firm, L.L.C. As top attorneys in West Palm Beach, Florida, we make it our mission to help our clients fully understand their circumstances and achieve the goals they are after. Moreover, we view our client as a whole person as opposed to just a set of legal issues, and this enables us to gain our clients’ trust and serve them better.