Benefits of Estate Planning
A careful, thought-out estate plan helps you answer the important question: “What do you want your legacy to be?" While the question—and the process—can seem daunting at first, it's ultimately an exercise in understanding how you want to live, and how that life will be carried on.
There are many benefits to estate planning including those that are immediately apparent and others that have long-lasting impacts. At the end of the estate planning process, you can be more comfortable knowing your wishes will be met and your family will be provided for.
Gain Peace of Mind
An estimated 68% of Americans don't have a will. If they were to pass away without one, their estate would be managed according to the intestate laws of the state in which they resided. This means the government will choose who gets your money when you die--not you.
One of the first benefits of estate planning is the peace of mind that your assets will be transferred according to your desires after you're gone. Putting together a comprehensive estate plan allows you to determine how—and by who—your affairs will be managed.
Prevent Family Conflict
Clearly communicating the goals for your estate removes the emotional burden of having to make these difficult decisions from your family members and loved ones. It also helps remove the potential for any conflict or further conversation about how your affairs will be handled, which should result in a smoother and less expensive process.
Preserve Your Legacy
It's important to proactively plan to preserve generational wealth, land, heirlooms and most of all, legacies. Most people who spend their lives building and preserving their estate would likely find relief knowing that it can remain intact after they're gone.
Perhaps you belong to a congregation or believe in a charity that you would like to offer continued support after you pass away.
If each generation continues to steward the estate responsibly, the family legacy could have significant and lasting impacts for future descendants. If there's any uncertainty about the intentions, desires, or capacities of one's beneficiaries, the best course of action is to ensure every scenario is thought of and covered in your estate plan according to your wishes.
Tips for Estate Planning Successfully
Every estate plan should take into account five considerations:
- what happens to YOU if you become incapacitated and cannot make your own financial and medical decisions
- what should happen to your assets when you pass away,
- how you will help your family maintain its financial well-being,
- how you can avoid the often lengthy and expensive probate process,
- how you can eliminate or minimize estate taxes.