Advice & Features Articles

Why You Need An Estate Plan

 

by Colin Smith | Contributor

Nobody likes the thought of planning for their own passing, but there are so many ways that the lack of a plan can negatively affect families. Some estimates say that 55% of American adults do not have a will or any type of estate plan in place.  Here are two important reasons that you should not be one of those people:

Having an estate plan is not just about transferring money and belongings or saving on taxes.
The most important consideration is family.  Any legal argument over the estate will permanently damage relationships.  That is simply the unfortunate byproduct of litigation, and I have yet to meet a client who wanted to incite division within their family.  When done properly, an estate plan expresses the deceased’s financial and personal wishes to those left behind, regardless of the size of the estate.

Estate planning can also protect people from themselves and others. 
For instance, if a 20-year-old receives a multimillion dollar inheritance, it’s a fair bet that retailers and car dealerships will see a temporary spike in their business while the beneficiary spends money to the tune of “Let’s Go Crazy.”  More often than not, the deceased would have preferred the 20-year-old beneficiary to get an education or a house and save money for a rainy day.  Trusts can help accomplish that purpose.

After putting a lifetime into building a family, relationships, and an estate, it’s worth a few hours of a lawyer’s time to try to ensure that they all remain intact in accordance with our wishes.

For more information or to schedule a confidential legal consultation, contact Colin Smith at colinsmithlaw.com or 972.773.9095.

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