What’s an “estate” and why should I worry about planning for one anyway?
Perhaps you’re not dripping in diamonds, vacationing on a private island, or you’re a workaholic and not vacationing at all. The first two may be what you think of when you hear “Estate Planning” and certainly no one would blame you, after all, if there’s nothing to protect, why worry? The truth of the matter is if you own ANYTHING, you have an “estate” in the eyes of the law and “Estate Planning” covers a whole lot more than just your stuff.
Normal everyday items like your home, jewelry, bank accounts, cars, electronics, furniture — basically anything you can own, are assets that fall under what makes up your estate. In addition to your touchable assets, you likely have a growing digital estate that needs to be planned for! So estate planning is something that profoundly impacts virtually everyone, not just the “country club” crowd. And as mentioned above, estate planning covers more than just property. It’s also about making sure someone you trust can make critical medical decisions, financial and legal decisions, and care for your minor children if you’re unable to do so.
Now, we understand that trying to figure out what’s available or what you need (and how much it’s going to cost!) is a bit overwhelming. In fact, if you Google “estate planning”, you’ll get about 27 million results. That’s awesomely helpful. Then you have all those posts and ads that offer “free wills” or “fill in the blank” documents which are just as good as what you get from an attorney, right? Well, I’m sure our answer will surprise you (and we’ll have an in-depth discussion on DIY docs later this week, so be sure to check that out).
You do not have to figure this all out on your own, and we certainly don’t recommend you try. We specialize in and know what questions to ask, what it takes to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored for your exact needs, and how to help you ensure your wishes are followed. Below are some of the basics of what’s involved in estate planning and how this process ultimately benefits you:
Planning allows you to remain in complete control of YOUR property while you’re still alive and well.
Planning helps you provide for yourself and your loved ones in the event you become incapacitated or disabled - without requiring expensive, time-consuming, and invasive court hearings.
Planning saves you money by minimizing the impact of professional fees, court costs, and taxes.
Planning provides a framework so you can give what you have to whom you want, the way you want, when you want.
Planning protects your minor children in the event that you cannot. And no, merely telling your close family friend that you want them to take care of junior for you does not cut it…
As we’ve explained, you do in fact have an estate and that planning provides a great benefit for you and your loved ones. Are you ready to sit down with a qualified estate planning attorney to see how you can ensure a better future for yourself and your loved ones? There’s no time to waste! The sooner you take stock of your estate and get critical documents like Wills, Trusts, and Advanced Directives completed, the better. Call us at 941-448-1302 or email us at Info@WorleyElderLaw.com today to find out how we can keep your health—and wealth—in the right hands for good.