Throughout your life, you accumulate an abundance of belongings that can include a car, home, other real estate, bank accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, and more. All of this property encompasses your estate. No matter how large or small your personal estate is, it is important to make sure that your property is given to the people or organizations that you want. This is known as Estate Planning.
What Exactly is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the plan that you create prior to your untimely death, illness, or accident. Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not only for the extremely wealthy, and it’s crucial for everyone to plan in advance. This plan will ensure that the people and organizations you’ve chosen to receive your property and assets will receive what you want them to and when you want them to.
All estate plans change over your lifetime. They are not a one-time plan, and as you grow your estate plan can grow with you. It’s good to review and update your plan as your life changes, such as the arrival of new family members and a change in financial circumstances. The most important document for your estate plan is Wills.
What is a Will?
It’s likely that you’ve heard of a will before because many television shows and movies have talked about them before in a very general sense. However, it’s important to understand that wills are personalized for each individual. They allow you to detail who gets your assets, how much they get, any charitable donations you wish to make with your belongings, and your noted heirs will have an easier time getting your designated assets. Even if you believe your estate is modest, you can still have a will and change it at any time.
All wills must go through the probate process. To put it simply, probate is the process the court goes through to ensure that the will is an accurate and faithful representation of what the deceased wanted before they passed. This process also ensures that the estate is administered legally to the noted heirs. The best way to ensure that this process goes smoothly for your heirs is to make sure that your will is considered legal in your state.
If You Don’t Plan, the State will for You
Many people put off planning due to a variety of reasons. Some think they aren’t old enough, some think it’s too expensive, and some think that they don’t own enough to start planning. It’s never too late to start planning, and it’s recommended to start earlier in case of an emergency. This will leave your family in charge of your estate, rather than the state.
If you do not have an estate plan in place, the State will decide the fate of your property and assets. With no estate plan, the State will not know what you want to be done with your estate and will make decisions based on what they think should happen and how your property and assets should be distributed. You do have a choice, and that choice is your estate plan. You can keep control of your estate and choose who receives what you want them to receive and when they receive it.
Estate Planning is an important part of everyone’s lives. Planning early is a great way to make sure you and your family are not prepared when the inevitable does happen. You are always able to change your estate plan as you grow, so you don’t have to worry about locking yourself into a plan as your family and financial circumstances change.
Looking to start an estate plan? McCormick Law Offices offers a Quick Will service that will get you a legal will quickly and efficiently.