As hard as it may be to believe, another year has flown by and the holidays are upon us once again. This means decorating the house, watching your favorite holiday movies, and spending time with those you love most. However, it can also mean spending time trying to figure out what to get your loved ones and reflecting on the year that has gone by, and the year that is to come. If you are having a hard time figuring out what to get your loved ones this holiday season, you should consider giving them the gift of peace of mind by creating an estate plan.
If you do not currently have an estate plan in place, the coming new year may lead you to reflect on your future and what would happen to your loved ones if the unthinkable were to happen. Taking the time to create an estate plan this holiday season could then be the perfect gift for your loved ones, as you will be giving them a sense of security knowing that they will be able to handle your affairs according to your final wishes once you are gone. If you have been putting off creating an estate plan, here is a look at just a few of the reasons you should consider doing so this holiday season.
Give The Gift of Peace of Mind
One of the biggest reasons to give the gift of an estate plan this holiday season is the peace of mind it can bring to your loved ones. If the unthinkable were to happen and you were to die before you had time to create an estate plan, it would be up to your loved ones to try to figure out how you would’ve wanted your affairs to be handled, which can cause a great deal of stress for your loved ones. Furthermore, without a will to guide the distribution of your assets, your family may fight over your property. By creating an estate plan this holiday season, you will be showing your loved ones that you care about their future mental health. They can feel rest assured that they will have your estate plan to guide them once you are gone, which can remove a lot of stress from their shoulders.
Have a Say in What Happens to Your Estate
Creating an estate plan is the only way to have a say in how your assets and belongings will be divided upon your death. If you fail to create an estate plan, your assets will be divided by the courts in accordance with state law. This can lead to your estate not being handled in the way you would have wished. Thusly, if you have specific loved ones you want to inherit the majority of your assets, or you are particular about where you want specific belongings to go, an estate plan will give you this control.
Not only will creating an estate plan ensure that your wishes are followed, but a properly crafted estate plan can also help to keep your estate out of probate court. Probate is the court process that estates must go through when a deceased individual dies without an estate plan. Probate court can be a lengthy, expensive, and stressful experience for your loved ones, so doing what you can now to keep your estate out of probate is one of the best gifts your loved ones could receive this year.
After working your entire life to earn and acquire the assets that make up your estate, you will no doubt want as much of your estate to go to your loved ones as possible. However, as we previously mentioned, if you do not have an estate plan, your estate will have to go through probate, and the process of going through probate court can be costly, which could significantly reduce the inheritance that your beneficiaries receive. However, a well-crafted estate plan can not only work to keep as many of your assets out of probate as possible, but it can also potentially reduce the taxes your estate faces, ensuring that your assets go to your loved ones instead of the government.
Maintain Your Family’s Privacy
For many families, privacy is essential, and they don’t want their family’s business, and in particular their finances, becoming public knowledge. However, when you die without an estate plan, this is exactly what happens. When your estate goes through probate court, everything becomes public record. This means that anyone can find out exactly what you owned, how much money you had, and who you chose to give it to. Creating an estate plan can then help to keep your personal information private, ensuring that your family’s privacy is not compromised during an already difficult time.
The Future is Uncertain
Unfortunately, if recent months have taught us anything it is that the future is uncertain, and even though you may have the next year planned out, there is no way to know what will happen in the months to come. While no one likes to think about their own death, and we’d like to imagine that we will have time to create an estate plan down-the-road, the fact is that you never know what will happen. If you continue to put off creating an estate plan and the unimaginable happens, your family will face an additional burden during an already difficult time. Creating an estate plan this holiday season will then allow you to do what you can to take control of your future and ensure that your family is prepared no matter what happens.
It’s Not as Complicated as You May Think
One of the main reasons people continually put off creating an estate plan is that they believe doing so will be extremely complicated and time-consuming. However, even doing something as simple as creating a will is better than nothing, and it can be quick to complete. However, the best way to ensure that you have a quality estate plan in place is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Not only will working with an attorney ensure that everything is handled properly, but your attorney will do most of the work, removing a great burden from your shoulders.
If you do not currently have an estate plan and are considering creating one, feel free to contact us to learn more about the benefits of creating an estate plan this holiday season, as well as to find out how we can help you make an estate plan that will meet your family’s needs.