Estate planning is an ongoing process and is something you should begin once you have any kind of measurable asset base. Obviously, an estate plan will change as your goals shift and your life progresses, but you must stay on top of things. Fail to complete the estate planning process properly and you could cause major financial burdens to fall on your loved ones. Estate and property taxes can be hefty, so at the very least you should set up a will.
However, too many people delay the process for one of the following reasons:
- Cost: This is one of the most common excuses, and while not everyone has a great deal of money set aside for estate planning, it really is a worthy investment. If you do nothing, it may end up costing you and your loved ones a lot more. For example, if you have assets in your name but no documents drawn up and become incapacitated due to illness or injury, your assets and care will probably end up in a court guardianship. All court costs and accounting or attorney fees are taken from your assets, and your family will probably need to ask for an allowance from the court if they need money for living expenses.
- Lack of assets: It is a mistake to think estate planning is only for the wealthy. Indeed, probate and court guardianship costs often affect smaller estates more. It is much better to ensure your loved ones get what little you own instead of attorneys and courts.
- Not old enough: Unforeseen events can happen regardless of your age, so don’t assume you are invincible. Every single day, we read or hear stories of young people who had their lives changed or tragically cut short by an accident.
- It is confusing: This is why you need a knowledgeable estate planning team to help you with your needs. At Singer Tax & Accounting, PC, PC, we know what other people have been through and have knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. With us on your side, estate planning is quicker and easier than you could ever imagine.