People make arrangements to save for retirement, they make plans to purchase a new home, and they even plan for things like weddings, birthday parties, and family events. However, estate planning is one thing that often gets disregarded. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets to be concerned with once you are gone, estate planning is highly important. Here is a short list of why seeking an estate planning lawyer in Los Angeles to create your own plan is so necessary.
1. Eliminate the potential for family strife upon your passing.
The people you love most in your life should not be left to handle your affairs on their own without some kind of guide to help them out so they know what you would’ve wanted. When there is no will left, estate plan in place, or prior arrangements, it can bring about a lot of strife for your loved ones. Conflicts can easily arise between siblings as to who should get what part of your estate, outsiders can step in and say they should get everything, and even a significant other can face hardships with other family members.
2. Ensure your assets are handled the way you want them to be handled.
Some states have their own laws about how an estate will be divvied up when someone passes away who has no estate plan in place. These statutes, which are sometimes referred to as “intestacy” statutes, can be far from how you would choose to pass along your assets, and every state has some version in place. The easiest way to ensure the state is not deciding how your assets should be handled is to create an estate plan with your attorney.
3. Protect your assets from unpaid creditors.
Without a will and if you owe debts upon your death, tangible properties, such as real estate, can be sold to repay the debts owed. If you have a will and an estate plan that clearly appoints an executor to handle debts, and has been properly protected by a real estate lawyer, this is far less likely to occur.
4. Avoid the fees associated with probate or possibly avoid it altogether.
Probate can be a time-consuming ordeal, and there are a lot of fees involved. Not all states require an estate to go through probate as long as it is clearly defined and properly planned with an estate planning lawyer. If your family has to go through probate on their own because there is no estate, the probate court can delegate a percentage of the estate to pay for attorney costs, a percentage to pay the chosen executor, and a percentage of the estate to cover court costs.
5. Protect those you have designated as beneficiaries.
Perhaps you have a life insurance policy, a savings account, stocks, or some other monetary asset, and you have specifically chosen beneficiaries on those accounts. With an estate plan, you can lay out the ground rules and definitives of who gets what and when. For example, you can leave your savings account to a minor child and appoint an overseer of that account until the child reaches a certain age.