Estate planning isn’t something most people like to think about, and often it is ignored. But why is it that people ignore or at least procrastinate when it comes to estate planning?
Here are some of the common reasons:
I’m not rich enough. While wealthy individuals often do estate planning, it is not necessary for you to be rich in order to think about it. In fact, in many instances not planning can costs you more in the long run. For example, the court probate process usually takes a higher percentage from smaller estates than from larger ones. Whatever you do own, you probably would rather see it go to your loved ones than to courts and attorneys.
It’s going to cost me an arm and a leg. I know that most people don’t have extra money lying around. However, not planning can end up costing your loved ones much more than it would cost you to plan now. If you own assets in your name and you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, you will likely be placed in a court guardianship. There are costs associated with this process and all costs associated with it (attorney fees, accounting fees, court costs, etc.) will be paid from your assets, and your family will probably have to ask the court for an allowance if they need money for living expenses.
This process does not replace probate, it is in addition to the probate process when you die. At your death your family will have to go through the court system again, and that means more expenses and less money for your loved ones. Your assets will be distributed according to the statutes and laws in your state, which is probably not what you would have wanted.
Estate planning is not expensive when you think about the value it provides for you and your loved ones should something happen to you. Do your research and find a reasonable attorney who can help you get started with some basic documents.
Take a step by step approach, start with the basics and move to more sophisticated tools if you need them later. The important part is to take the first step and come up with a strategy that you can execute over time. Many attorneys have payment plans, and this could help you pay the fees over time as well.
I don’t understand Estate Planning, so I need to do more research before I hire a lawyer. This is what some people call paralysis by analysis. Many attorneys will offer you a free consultation, take advantage of that to get the basics down, then start from there. An experience estate planning attorney understands your family situation and can provide valuable input as to what has worked and what hasn’t. An attorney can walk you through the process and facilitate the decision-making process for you. At the very minimum the attorney will get you thinking about the things you need and how they can protect your assets.
I’m way to young to think about estate planning. Estate planning is not only for old people, this is a common misconception. For some reason, when we are young, we think we are going to live forever. However, the reality is that at any age we can become incapacitated or die. This is not to be a Debbie downer, but incapacity or death can come at any age from an illnesses, accident, or injury.
Finally, why should you actively engage in estate planning now?
Because you want to minimize taxes, expenses, and unnecessary delays for your family should you become incapacitated or when you die. You want to reduce or eliminate the amount of time your loved ones spend dealing with the courts. In conclusion, by engaging in estate planning early you are protecting your loved ones and giving yourself peace of mind.
If you Need Help With Your Estate Planning Please Contact Us:
Our firm can provide you with direction and advise on what would be your best cause of action depending on your specific situation. Please call (973) 200-1111 and ask to speak with an estate planning attorney at The Law Offices of Patel, Soltis & Cardenas, LLC. We are here to help you protect your interests and property.