Planning Your Estate - Where To Start
When is the right time to plan your estate? It is never too early.
As you start out in your career, perhaps you have not yet accumulated substantial financial assets, but if you have young children, it is vital that you (and not the Court with input from feuding relatives) decide who shall raise your children and manage their inheritance. All young families should have Wills to name guardianship for their children and trustees for the childrens' inheritance.
As your estate grows and you accumulate assets, you may want to take some simple steps to protect your assets from taxes and potential judgments. Retirement plans are by far the most efficient investment vehicles available. Your contributions to a 401(k) plan, for example, provide you with an immediate income tax savings, grow tax deferred until retirement time, and are protected from liens of judgment creditors. Additionally, married couples should own their primary residence as tenants by the entirety. This form of ownership ensures that no liens can be placed on the home in the event there is a judgment against one spouse.
Since we can never know when or if we will be struck with disabling illness or when we will die, it is prudent and wise to draft estate planning documents and update them regularly.
Benefits of an effective estate plan:
You choose who will inherit your estate and at what time or times distributions are made -- this is especially important if you have minor children or are in a blended family.
You choose who will administer your estate.
You choose who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to give direction, and you communicate what your wishes are.
You may avoid the significant cost and delay of probate.
You may save many thousands of dollars in estate tax savings for your children or grandchildren, depending on the size of your estate.
And many more benefits.
You may schedule a free 30-minute consultation if you would like to learn how a well-prepared estate plan can specifically benefit you and your family.
For further information about estate planning contact Noreen Costelloe.
Articles distributed by Malecki & Brooks Law Group, LLC are advertisements and summaries for general information and discussion purposes only. They are not full analyses of the matters presented, legal, or otherwise, and may not be relied upon as legal advice.