Being in your 50’s and 60’s is the new 30’s and 40’s, but maybe without the young kids. You feel great! You have control of your life. But do you really? You may have started thinking about your retirement and your mortality, or what might happen if you become incapacitated or die. Just having a will does not really get it done because your estate will still likely end up in probate. Probate means a lot of work and expense for the family you left behind. Now is the time to start thinking about an estate plan designed to avoid probate and eliminate estate taxes. There are several options to fit everyone’s unique needs.
While estate planning might sound like something that only applies to wealthy people, that is not the case. An estate refers to what anyone might own banking and investment accounts, real estate, and personal possessions.
There is a term for the stage of life you are in, it is the “sandwich generation.” This means your children are older, and you may be caring for aging parents. This can be a tough spot to be in, so it’s important to make sure your estate plan adequately supports the loved ones you’re responsible for.
If you don’t have an estate plan with a trust in place, your heirs will likely go through a lengthy and expensive government process (probate) which could delay important decisions and access to needed estate resources. A trust-based estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out as intended and minimizes the potential for family squabbles that could destroy relationships during an already difficult time. Trust based estate plans eliminate the need for the probate process, keeping your affairs private. In short, it is very important that you get proactive and get your legal documents in place.
A common misconception is that all is well if you have a will. A will is only one piece of the equation and will require most estates to go through the probate process. An estate plan is based on a trust designed to avoid probate and eliminate or reduce estate taxes. The estate plan also includes documents to have someone you trust manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. It also provides detailed instructions to ensure a smooth distribution of your assets to your family, friends, or charities you care about the most. A basic estate plan keeps the government out of your affairs and lets you decide who manages your affairs when you are gone.
Breunig Law provides straightforward and experienced services you can trust. We will deliver counseling, drafting, and execution of a well-thought-out estate plan that will protect your assets and support your families’ unique needs. This will save you and your family money and the stress of court oversight of your family’s affairs. We explain these things in plain language and answer all your questions prior to drafting your unique estate plan.