Everyone needs an estate plan—not just the wealthy. Married. Divorced. Single. Blended Family. You name it. You need it.
An estate plan does more than just pass on wealth in the form of dollars. It helps your surviving family members know what you want done with you, your stuff, your money and your property. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to pass on, just the task of planning final arrangements and going through your things is monumental.
If you have children. You need an estate plan.
If you have real estate. You need an estate plan.
Here is the bonus: An effective estate plan can even help while you are still living. If you are incapacitated, an estate plan can allow someone you trust, instead of strangers or the state, to make decisions for you. It’s even more important if you have minor children who need to be cared or provided for.
There are five issues at the core of any estate plan: the people you want to pass things on to, the things you have, when you want these things to be passed on, the laws where you live, and what you hope to accomplish with this plan.
The documents of estate planning help address all these core issues. A will serves to identify the people you want to benefit from your estate, a trust provides the assets they are to receive. A power of attorney helps make sure things are done as you would do them, and provides both oversight and accountability.
Once you have these things in place, the hard part is over. You should visit your estate-planning attorney once a year or after any major life event to update beneficiaries and assets.
Over the past 22 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.
About the Author
Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More