It may sound morbid, but the truth is nobody knows exactly when their time in this world will be up, so it is a good idea to have your properties and assets in order as early as possible in the event of your incapacitation or death. Here is where estate planning comes into mind.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a group of tasks for managing your assets in preparation in the event of your death. This includes naming who gets what after you die; provide for family members with special needs or those irresponsible with money to protect them from creditors; or even a future divorce; and more.
You can also include instructions or name a person to make decisions about your health care on your behalf, in the event you suffer a disability and can no longer make the decisions yourself.
Why Should You Have an Estate Plan?
In case you are incapacitated or die without an estate plan, your state will do all the necessary planning for you whether you like it or not.
Disability. The court will appoint someone to act on your behalf in case you cannot conduct business for yourself due to a mental or physical disability. The court will have control over your assets through a conservatorship or guardianship as the court appointee is not someone from your family.
Death. In the case of your death, your assets will undergo distribution among your family members based on the probate law in your state. This means someone in your family whom you do not want to receive an inheritance might still get one.
Why Should You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?
An estate-planning attorney can help you navigate through the complexities of estate planning. Their services offered are not only limited to drafting a last will, but they also can:
- Draft living trusts.
- Devise a plan to avoid paying a hefty amount in estate taxes.
- Protect your assets from the creditors of your beneficiaries.
- Appoint someone to take care of your affairs should you become physically or mentally incapacitated to avoid guardianship or conservatorship issues.
Estate planning is not a one-time deal. As the situation of your finances and family changes over your lifetime, your estate plan needs regular updates and reviews by a qualified estate planning attorney here in Denver.