DO I NEED ESTATE PLANNING?
Most people do not think about their own death on a regular basis. I would suggest that it is not something that you should do all the time simply because it is somewhat depressing. The old adage is that there are two things you can count on in life; death and taxes. Though estate planning can’t help you avoid death, it can help you avoid unnecessary taxes. It can also help you alleviate the burden that your family will face in the time of your loss.
Estate planning is a simple way to provide yourself and your family peace of mind that things will be fine if you are no longer with them. A proper estate plan will not simply say what you want to have done with your favorite T-Shirt or where you want to be buried. It will help you determine what happens to your stuff, what you want to happen if you are in a coma or in need of artificial life sustaining treatment and even how your pets will be taken care of when you pass. The most comprehensive of packages will take a look at all of your assets and find the proper direction for them to go. It will contemplate the tax implications of the transfer of your assets after death. It will designate beneficiaries and powers of attorney. It will also make sure that you have the proper amounts of life insurance and a guardian named for your minor children.
The final result of a proper estate planning package should be a comprehensive look at your life and how it is today. It should take a freeze frame of your current situation and make sure that if something were to happen to you today or in the near future that you are comfortable with the outcomes if it were to happen that second. It also needs to have enough foresight to allow some time to pass before you need to renew the plan.
For any person that has had any significant change in their life, it is a perfect time to revisit your estate planning that was done previously. The addition of a new child, a divorce, a marriage or any other major life change provides a perfect reason to create or revisit the plan you have. Each of these events can cause a new need to arise that it will be helpful to prepare for.