What is estate planning?
Estate planning is a process in which you make decisions in advance about how you want your estate to be distributed upon your death. It also involves appointing agents to act on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated or disabled and are no longer able to make decisions on your own behalf.
Everyone who wishes to direct what happens with their assets upon their death should have an estate plan. However, there are a number of other reasons putting an estate plan into place is a good idea. Common reasons people opt to set up an estate plan include:
- Nominating guardians to care for minor children
- Preserving and protecting assets for children when a parent remarries
- Avoiding probate, which is a timely and costly process
- Directing where you want your assets to go upon your death
- Providing a level of creditor protection
- Providing your loved ones who are left behind with peace of mind
- Providing for a favorite charity
- Planning for business succession
- Tax planning/reducing potential tax liability
- Making advance health care decisions
- Directing who will manage your assets/pay your bills in the event of incapacity or disability
Every person’s estate planning needs are different and personal to their particular situation.