One of the biggest mistakes people often make is not understanding the importance of estate planning. Far too many individuals go through life without planning their estates, leaving a burden on their loved ones. An oft repeated comment is that those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Are you wondering why you should plan your estate? Hoping to gain an understanding of the benefits? Keep reading. This article provides information that will help you better understand the process and benefits of estate planning.
Estate Planning Benefits
There are many important reasons to plan your estate. Below, we will discuss some of the main benefits of estate planning.
Assets are Left to the Intended Beneficiaries
It's simple: if you don't plan your estate, there's a risk that your assets will end up in the hands of people you didn't choose to be, or didn't want to be, beneficiaries. This is particularly true if you own a business.
In the State of Illinois, the probate courts in cases where there is no will typically hand assets down to surviving spouses and children. If you want certain assets to go to someone other than your spouse or children, or if you want to affect the timing of such transfer, or the conditions under which it is made, it's of utmost importance that you start planning your estate.
By drawing up an official will, you ensure that your assets go to your preferred beneficiaries.
Probate Taxes are Minimized
When a person dies, his or her estate is typically processed in the probate courts. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the probate process involving courts and attorneys will increase the cost and delay in transferring your estate to your intended heirs. However, there are some things you can legally do to either reduce these costs and delays, or eliminate them entirely.
Generally, establishing and maintaining a trust will allow you to pass down money without having it subjected to the probate process, including the attendant cost and delay. This ensures that your loved ones will receive as much of your estate as possible, and as quickly as possible in the circumstances.
Children are Properly Protected
Do you have children? If so, it's important to plan your estate. Life is fragile, and you never know what the future holds. In the event of sudden, unexpected death, you will want to be sure that your children are taken care of - both monetarily and physically.
During the estate planning process, you can not only open a trust for your children, you can also designate their potential guardians. This may help keep your children out of the foster system and will hopefully ensure that they are well cared for.
Estate is Distributed Quickly
The probate courts work slowly. If your estate is to be resolved by these courts, it can take months and even years for your loved ones to receive your assets unencumbered by constraints imposed by the probate court. This can be a problem, specifically if your family needs additional money to live on, pay bills, and get on with their lives.
Planning your estate carefully allows you to effectively manage and even avoid the probate process. This ensures that your loved ones will receive your assets as quickly as possible.
End-of-life Wishes are Formally Established
Planning your estate is so much more than just the distribution of assets. During the estate planning process, you can also formally establish your end-of-life wishes. This will ensure that in the event that you become incapacitated, your medical treatment will be carried out as you have specified. For instance, if you wish not to be put on life support in the event of permanent incapacitation, you can designate it in your living will.
And, if you have particular wishes regarding the disposition of your remains, those wishes can be given legal effect in an appropriately drafted power of attorney for health care.
Looking for an Estate Attorney in Mount Prospect, Illinois?
Are you interested in planning your estate? Looking for a reputable estate attorney in Mount Prospect, Illinois? The attorneys at John J. Pembroke & Associates are the attorneys to see.
We've helped a variety of clients plan their estates, assisting in drafting wills and creating and funding trusts. We would like to help you with your estate as well.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!