With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, you may be feeling lucky! You’re alive, healthy, and ready to take on the world. While all of that may be true, that does not mean you should be leaving yourself unprepared by not having your estate plan done. For example, if you were to pass away, would your family be taken care of? Would your assets be distributed to the people you love the most? These are questions that you should thoughtfully consider.
Why Do You Need an Estate Plan?
If you were to pass away or become incapacitated without an estate plan, your assets would be locked up in probate as a judge decides who is your next of kin and who gets what. If assets are needed to pay a mortgage, get food on the table, or pay tuition, your family cannot access those funds while they are tied up in probate.
Always be prepared with an estate plan so that you can leave your family in the best position possible to be secure after you die.
What Makes a Comprehensive Estate Plan?
An estate plan should cover all bases, including plans for your businesses, properties, cash, and taxes. Be sure to include the following:
- A Trust: When your assets are in a trust, they will be unaffected when you die. The trust will live on, and the executor will continue to pay bills, run the business, and distribute money to beneficiaries without a lapse.
- Tax Planning: When you pass money onto your beneficiaries, the money is taxed. Stay up to date with the current tax laws to find the best way to transfer your assets.
- Power of Attorneys: Your estate plan will specify your financial power of attorney and your medical power of attorney. Who can pay your mortgage and conduct business while you are incapacitated? Who will make medical decisions for you? These are important things to consider.
- Guardian: Name a guardian to take care of young children if you pass away.
- Beneficiaries: Your spouse is not always the only person who will take on your assets. Name adult children, parents, and non-family loved ones.
- Life Insurance Policy: Your life insurance policy should be included in your estate plan so it is accessible and easy to locate.
- Funeral or Cremation Plans: Express your wishes for your funeral or memorial services.
Although it can be a sensitive topic, you will feel responsible and at ease when completing your estate plan. Be sure to revisit your plan over the years to add beneficiaries, update plans according to new tax laws, or add new assets.
Estate Planning with a Team You Can Trust
Covering all your bases with a comprehensive estate plan is easy when you have an expert team on your side. Shoup Legal is here to help. We can evaluate your needs and make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. Contact us at (951) 445-4114 or at [email protected] to learn more.