There are a multitude of reasons why you should complete your estate planning. Below is a list of the top 4 reasons why you need an estate plan:
AVOIDING PROBATE AVOIDING PROBATE IS BY FAR THE MOST COMMON REASON WHY PEOPLE SEEK OUT ADVICE FOR ESTATE PLANNING. WHILE MANY HAVE NEVER EVEN DEALT WITH PROBATE, THEY STILL KNOW ONE THING - THEY WANT TO AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS. THIS STEMS FROM PROBATE HORROR STORIES COVERED BY THE MEDIA OR TOLD BY NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS OR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES. SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE, AVOIDING PROBATE IS A VERY GOOD REASON FOR CREATING AN ESTATE PLAN AND CAN BE EASILY ACHIEVED.
AVOIDING A MESS
Many clients seek advice for estate planning after personally experiencing, or seeing a close friend or business associate, experience a significant waste of time and money due to a loved one's failure to make an estate plan. Choosing someone to be in charge if you become mentally incapacitated and after you die and deciding who will get what, when they will get it, and how they will get it after you're gone will go a long way towards avoiding family fights and costly probate court proceedings.
There are generally two main reasons why people put together an estate plan in order to protect their beneficiaries: (a) Protecting minor beneficiaries, and/or (b) Protecting adult beneficiaries from bad decisions, outside influences, creditor problems and divorcing spouses. If the beneficiary is a minor, all 50 states have laws that require a guardian or conservator to be appointed to oversee the minor's needs and finances until the minor becomes a legal adult (at age 18 or 21, depending upon the laws of the state where the minor lives).
,P>YOU CAN PREVENT FAMILY DISCORD AND COSTLY LEGAL EXPENSES BY TAKING THE TIME TO DESIGNATE A GUARDIAN AND TRUSTEE FOR YOUR MINOR BENEFICIARIES. OR, IF THE BENEFICIARY IS ALREADY AN ADULT BUT IS BAD AT MANAGING MONEY OR HAS AN OVERBEARING SPOUSE OR PARTNER WHO YOU FEAR WILL SQUANDER THE BENEFICIARY'S INHERITANCE OR TAKE IT IN A DIVORCE, THEN YOU CAN CREATE AN ESTATE PLAN THAT WILL PROTECT THE BENEFICIARY FROM THEIR OWN BAD DECISIONS AS WELL AS THOSE OF OTHERS.
Lately, asset protection planning has become a very important reason why many people, including those who already have an estate plan, are meeting with their estate planning attorney. Once you know or even just suspect that a lawsuit is on the horizon, it's too late to put a plan in place to protect your assets. Instead, you need to start with a sound financial plan and couple that with a comprehensive estate plan that will, in turn, protect your assets for the benefit of both you during your lifetime and your beneficiaries after your death.
Estate planning is a necessity to protect you and your family and the wealth you have worked so hard to build. If you would like to start estate planning or need assistance in continuing your estate planning, feel free to reach out to me or my office and we can help you.
The views expressed here reflect the views of Brian Peardon. These views may change as market or other conditions change. Actual investments or investment decisions made by Cambridge Investment Research and its affiliates, whether for its own account or on behalf of clients, will not necessarily reflect the views expressed. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not account for individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor's specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Past performance does not guarantee future results and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either. Moody's Corporation is the holding company that owns both Moody's Investor Services, which rates fixed income debt securities and Moody's Analytics, which provides software and research for economic analysis and risk management. Securities offered through registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered Investment Adviser. 401k Engineers and Cambridge are not affiliated. CA Insurance Lic. #0E44645