Estate Planning has one goal: keep you and your children out of court. Staying out of court saves you and your family thousands in legal fees, not to mention extreme frustration and stress.
Picture this: The Jones family doesn’t have an estate plan, and so, are unprepared when dad has a stroke. He had recently increased his annual withdrawals from his retirement plan, which are now going to the nursing home. Money that with a Power of Attorney in place, Mom could have saved, but now has no way of managing.
An estate plan prepares for incapacity so that legal, financial, and medical decisions can be made even when you can’t.
The Smith family children tragically lost their parents while they were young. Fortunately, they had insurance so money is available. Unfortunately, the parents didn’t have an estate plan, so that money is in an account supervised by the court, and other than paying for tuition, its inaccessible. And their aunt worries about what will happen when the oldest child turns 18 and receives his share outright. Lately, he’s been talking more about going the Bahamas with some friends rather than studying for college.
An estate plan prepares for young beneficiaries so that money is available for their care and education while they’re young, and management and guidance as they mature.
The Browns have the perfect lawn surrounded by the white picket fence. Three grown children and they’re all doing well financially. They live comfortably but aren’t wealthy. When they both pass away, the oldest child steps in to handle their affairs. He discovers that he must open a probate matter to sell the property. Months later, the house remains vacant, he’s had to deal with vandals, and found out that the homeowner’s insurance from his parents doesn’t apply anymore. He’s frustrated with how long the probate process takes, his siblings blame him, and he resents all the work he’s had to do, even after engaging an attorney to handle the probate. His siblings will be upset to learn that the expense of the probate case is easily going to be $20,000, probably more.
An estate plan is designed to avoid probate saving your beneficiaries thousands in legal expenses, and months of waiting.
These simple stories are just three examples of the problems estate plans are designed to prevent. To learn more about these problems, take our free “Estate Planning Risk Audit” and discover what an estate plan can do for your family.