I Don’t Have Much – Do I Still need to Plan My Estate?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018, 11:56 pm

Many people never seek out the advice and assistance of an estate planning attorney because they feel like they don’t have enough assets to really need one. They put everything in their will and leave it at that, but this isn’t always the best idea. In fact, even if you don’t think you have a large estate, sitting down with a professional and planning out how your assets will be divided still has a number of benefits to it. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if estate planning is right for you.

Do You Have Children?

If you have children, you may need to determine more than simple guardianship in the event of you and your spouse’s death. Guardianship can be outlined in a will, but creating a conservator is generally done in an estate. A conservator is an adult who handles any assets a young child inherits until they reach the age of majority. This can include real estate, retirement assets, and money from life insurance policies.

Your Estate Could Be Trapped in Probate for a Year or More

Another reason to seek a legal professional to assist you with estate planning is to make the probate process as easy and as affordable for your family as possible. If you have no will or estate plan at all, your assets will spend quite some time in probate court. This can get very costly, and it means your heirs won’t be able to do things such as sell your home for months. It also makes it easier for creditors and relatives to challenge your will because probate court records are public.

You’re Caring for Someone with a Disability

If you’re the caretaker for someone with a disability—a partner, child, sibling, or anyone else—you want to make certain they’re cared for after you’re gone. A will may not allow for that. Worse, if you leave them a good amount of money, it may cause them to lose their public assistance or eligibility for other programs. A trust can be created in such a way that they can draw money from it while still qualifying for the programs they’re on.

No matter what size estate you may have, it’s important that you’ve planned for the future and what will happen when you’re gone. The experts at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates can assist you with all of your estate planning needs. Contact us today to get the process started.

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Category: Estate Planning

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