If you don't plan for death or incapacity, the court will make a plan for you. Estate Planning is essential to maintaining control and privacy of your affairs. If control of your finances is important to you, then estate planning is essential. Proper estate planning will help you protect your assets during periods of incapacity and distribute them the way that you want, at your death, without government oversight or court intervention.
To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it. You will, of course, want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs. That is estate planning—making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die. However, good estate planning is much more than that. It should also:
* Include instructions for passing your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables.
* Include instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die.
* Name a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children.
* Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits.
* Provide for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce.
* Include life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury.
* Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death.
* Minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees.
* Be an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations (and laws) change over your lifetime.
Estate planning can solve these problems: Second marriage/blended families; children in jail or have drug/alcohol problems; out of state property; families with disabled children; protection from medicaid spend-down; distribution of assets over time rather than lump sum; protection from probate litigation; and distribution to minor children/grandchildren. National Legal Solutions Center has successfully worked with individuals and families to design and implement an estate plan that serves their unique goals and objectives. Our services continues throughout your lifetime and are available to the people that you have chosen to handle your affairs, at no additional charge. We take pride in being your trusted advisors and being there for your families in their time of need.