Effective estate planning involves much more than having a last will and testament. Estate planning can help you manage your financial affairs during your lifetime and help you control the distribution of your wealth after death through legacy planning.
An effective estate planning strategy can spell out your healthcare wishes and help to ensure that they’re carried out even if you are unable to communicate. It can even designate someone to manage your financial affairs should you be unable to do so.
An Effective Estate Plan Can Help You Avoid the Probate Process
Without an estate plan, your assets could end up getting tied up in the probate process. As a result, your family could be burdened with the unnecessary stress and legal fees of having to hire a probate lawyer during what will already be a difficult time.
It’s important to realize that estate planning isn’t just about preserving and distributing your assets after you’ve died. Estate planning is a crucial part of preserving and managing those assets during your retirement years as well.
Estate Planning Basics
When it comes to estate planning, the basic package consists of having a living trust and will, plus some form of Durable Power of Attorney in place for making financial and/or healthcare decisions. It won’t cost you a lot to get these items in place, and the peace of mind these estate planning tools can provide is priceless.