who needs estate planning? do I really need an estate planner?

2021-06-06

Do I Really Need Estate Planning?

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Estate planning can sound inaccessible to some people, as if it’s an elite tool that’s not appropriate for everyone. If financial end-of-life planning isn’t a topic circulating through your peer group, it can seem far-off or irrelevant. However, neither of these assumptions are true. 

Many people wonder, “Do I really need estate planning or a professional planner to help me? Why can’t I just do some research and DIY my plan?” Let’s address those questions and find out if estate planning is something you need. 

Do I need an estate planner if I’m not rich? 

Yes, you sure do! Many people have the misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy or ultra-wealthy. Yes, wealthy people need estate plans, but you probably do, too! Who needs estate planning? Let’s find out…

Do you have kids? You’ll want to designate a guardian for them in your estate plan, and provide details for their financial care after your passing. Are you married or in a partnership? You’ll want to make sure the right assets go to your partner in the event of an untimely death

Do you want to avoid probate fees? Your estate, if it’s sizeable, may be able to absorb the cost of probate. However, if you’re interested in leaving the maximum amount possible to your heirs, or if your estate can’t handle the expensive process of probate court, you will need an estate plan.  

Here’s an easy question that we all answer the same way: Do you want your end-of-life wishes to be respected? Yes, of course you do. Health care desires, medical and financial details, and other sensitive matters, like appointing durable power of attorney, are covered in a complete and proper estate plan. 

What are the benefits of an estate plan? 

A big benefit from having an estate plan is that you’ve outlined what will happen after your death, instead of leaving the State of Arizona to do so for you. Without a plan and the correct legal documents ready when the time comes, all your final decisions will be left up to someone else—most likely the wrong person. 

Here are some more benefits of an estate plan, no matter your wealth level:

    • An estate plan helps you avoid probate court and all the fees that come with it, such as:
      • Court fees,
      • Attorney fees,
      • Appraisal & business evaluation fees, and more.
    • Having an estate plan minimizes your tax liability.
      • It allows you to work with the current laws to your best advantage.
      • With an estate plan you can preserve as much of your estate as possible for your children and grandchildren.
    • An estate plan also helps to protect your heirs and yourself.
      • Ensure that your end-of-life wishes are carried out.
      • Create documents to protect any minors in your care.
      • Use the benefits of a trust to provide for your heirs after your passing.

Can’t I just do it myself? 

Laws around estate planning and estate taxes are in constant flux. Misapplying laws or using the wrong documents can leave your assets susceptible to loss. Phelps LaClair has been dealing with these complexities and helping Gilbert, Arizona families create concrete plans for more than 40 years. We know what works, and what can cause issues

Skip the heartache and distress that we’ve seen result from do-it-yourself estate plans. Get what you need: a strategic estate plan that fits your situation and saves you money in the long run. At Phelps LaClair, we offer a free lifetime service package, including educational seminars. We can answer all your questions related to estate taxes, trusts, wills & directives, and other estate planning matters. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Kin Li | from unsplash.com on 6/6/2021 | used under the Creative Commons license | no changes made

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