An estate plan should not just be a means for you to dispose of your property. It should give you peace of mind while enhancing the lives of your loved ones. It should protect your wishes. It should provide you with the opportunity to ensure that both you and your loved ones are taken care of and to protect inheritances if that is your wish.
Here are 6 ways a properly designed estate plan can accomplish this:
- Designated “Backup Parents”/Caregivers – Your estate plan will ensure that your minor children are taken care of by a person of your choosing in the event something happens to you. The decision should be yours…not the Court’s.
- Safeguarded Inheritance – An estate plan can include a trust or trusts that will keep an inheritance safe from immediate depletion by younger loved ones or a bad case of “affluenza.”
- Asset Protection – An estate plan can include a trust or trusts that provide your loved ones with a layer of inheritance protection from divorce, lawsuit, creditors and predators.
- Incentives/Value Transfer – Do you want to pass on more than just property? Your estate plan can be drafted to encourage certain uses of the inheritance you leave behind.
- Special Needs – Do you have family members who currently have special needs? Do you have loved ones who you want to protect in the event that they do need special assistance some day (e.g. parents or adult children)? Your estate plan can be drafted to help ensure this takes place.
Remember, estate planning is a process not an event. Your needs and desires will likely change over time. What was important to you when you first created your plans may have changed. The circumstances in your life or the lives of your beneficiaries may have changed. The laws affecting your plan may have changed. The result may be that your estate plan needs to be changed.
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