One of the largest misconceptions of probate law is estate planning being reserved only for the elderly or those close to death. This is incorrect and ill-advised. An estate plan can be formulated at any time in one’s life. In fact, is it highly suggested to do so. The importance of estate planning is stressed by the fact that almost 20% of widowed spouses and family members face financial difficulties following the death of a loved one. Estate planning is also incorrectly labeled as being expensive and time-consuming, whereas in actuality, establishing such a plan will ensure that your family and friends will be well taken care of following your passing.
The difference between an estate plan and a will is that estate planning is the process of deciding what is to become of one’s assets, bank accounts, etc. The will is the final step in legally documenting who in your family gets what. As estate planning is not a single party venture and is not a process that occurs quickly, it will encompass years to grow to protect your estate throughout your lifetime until the time has come to transfer those assets to family and friends as stipulated in your will.
If you are one of those people who see no reason to plan for family after your passing, it is important to familiarize yourself with these benefits of doing so:
• Estate plans protect loved ones and your assets from heavy tax burdens
• Estate plans help your family avoid costly litigation and hefty court fees
• Estate plans allow significant time to decide what is to become of your assets prior to documenting such wishes in a will
• Estate plans help your family avoid distributing assets themselves
If you’ve decided that you wish to go ahead and formulate a plan, do so with the assistance of a wills and probate attorney.
If you are in need of assistance in formulating an estate plan or will, contact a wills and probate attorney from McAllen’s Barrera, Sanchez & Associates at 956.287.7555.