Estate planning involves deciding who gets what when you pass and ensuring your family fulfills your wishes. However, a comprehensive plan goes far beyond that. It can also include instructions in case of incapacitation, arrangements for income insurance in case of disability, transfer businesses after your death, guardianship for your children, provisions for your family, provisions for other loved ones and minimizing estate taxes.
That said, this is a long-term process. Therefore, you should know a little more about this before you decide if it is for you because you will have to review your plan and update it as necessary.
It is for everyone
Although people think more about estate planning as they age, it is not solely for older people. You cannot predict your lifespan; when a sudden illness or accident occurs, you want to ensure you are ready.
You start with a will
While a will does not get your estate out of probate, it does provide instructions. Primarily, this document describes how you want to distribute your assets.
These assets still have to go through the state probate process before their distribution. This process can get costly due to attorney fees and court costs. The time in probate can vary from a few months to several years. In addition, the proceedings are public knowledge designed to give any excluded heirs or debtors time to file for part of your estate. In short, your will is just the start of your estate plan, as you have to account for all of these other factors.
Knowing you have a good estate plan gives you and your family peace of mind. It is something thoughtful that you can do for your family before you die.