When anyone who does not have substantial financial means thinks about estate planning, they instantly disregard it as something that does not affect them. The reality is that anyone would benefit from estate planning, and there are plenty of estate planning options that would fit in with anyone's lifestyle. The more you understand about estate planning, the more you appreciate how important it really is.
Before we should discuss when you should start estate planning, we should establish the definition of estate planning. Every person, in some form or another, has an estate. If you have people you would like to care for after you have passed on or you own any kind of possessions that have some sort of value, then you have an estate. You could rent your home and lease your car, but your collection of vintage guitars would be considered an estate.
Estate planning gives you the power to decide what happens to your possessions after you pass on, how your money is distributed, and any special care concerns you have for the people you will leave behind. You can even determine how your pets will be cared for when you pass on by using estate planning. Without estate planning, your possessions will be put through probate court and there is no guarantee that the people who you want to have your items will get them.
Proper estate planning is done through an estate planning professional. It is best to use a professional because real estate planning can be complicated, and there can be consequences if it is done wrong. A professional estate planner will know how to protect your beneficiairies from tax implications, and they can also recommend putting together a trust if your assets are substantial enough.
Estate planning is a dynamic process that is ongoing until the day the estate owner passes away. The sooner you get started with your estate planning, the better prepared you will be in case something does happen to you. Many people think that they should wait until they are older or have substantial assets before they get involved in estate planning, but that does not help if they are stricken with a terminal disease or get in a fatal accident when they are young. The sooner you start with estate planning, the better off you will be.
Good estate planning ends when the estate owner passes away. You should make annual appointments with your estate planner to review any changes in your life, and alter your estate planning to address those changes.
Estate planning has gained the incorrect reputation of being a vehicle for the wealthy to protect their assets and distribute their wealth when they pass away. The reality is that estate planning is a tool that every person should use to make sure that all of their final wishes are honored after they pass away, and that all the people they love are properly taken care of.