The main advantage of having a valid estate plan in place is to make sure your last wishes are executed upon your death. Without one, your estate is not protected from Texas’s intestate succession laws and the state will determine who will inherit your property and other assets. Not only does a valid estate plan ensure your loved ones will receive their proper inheritance, but it can also help your beneficiaries avoid certain taxes and other legal requirements when it comes to the distribution of property.
Top Advantages of Estate Planning
Save Your Family from Having to Make Difficult Decisions
Estate planning provides much needed peace of mind for your family in the event of your death. Without one, your loved ones will have to determine who inherits what, which could prove stressful for the entire family. One of the main benefits of having a valid estate plan in place is that you get to maintain control over what happens to your property and assets after you die.
Additionally, if you become incapacitated, leaving your family to decide what kind of medical decisions to make on your behalf would be difficult for them to navigate. Estate planning also allows you to determine how you want to be taken care of in the event of incapacitation. It also entails the following:
• Medical powers of attorney
• Health care proxies
If you would like more control over how you will be treated after an accident or death, creating an estate plan will provide you with that peace of mind.
Protect Your Loved Ones
An important aspect of estate planning is determining who will be granted physical custody of your children in the event you die or are incapacitated and unable to care for them. As this decision will significantly impact your kids’ lives, it should be determined by you and not the court system.
Estate planning also ensures that your beneficiaries can legally inherit what you would like them to inherit, thus protecting their financial future. The process also provides your loved ones with peace of mind knowing they can finalize your affairs in a manner you have approved.
Reduce Taxes & Legal Fees
With an estate plan in place, your beneficiaries can inherit from you in a timely manner. They do not need to go through the probate process which includes court fees, legal fees, and attorney fees. Additionally, as probate takes time to finalize, beneficiaries may be unable to collect their inheritance as quickly as they could have if an estate plan had been established.
A trust also helps protect assets and could reduce federal estate taxes. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you with this process.
Make Specific Bequests
It is not uncommon for an individual to include specific bequests in his/her estate plan. A bequest is a gift given to a beneficiary as part of a will. This could include an extensive art collection, a prized vehicle, collectibles, antiques, and family heirlooms. Anyone can make a bequest of any amount to an individual or charity.
Maintain Your Business After Your Death
If you would like to pass your business on to a family member, you will need to include this in your estate plan. Without one in place, your business could potentially go under, which could lead to unnecessary stress and financial hardship for your family. This is especially true if they rely on this business to support them financially. Additionally, if there are any logistics your loved ones should know about regarding your company’s day-to-day operations, it would be helpful for them to know this information.
Everyone benefits from a valid estate plan. To learn more about our estate planning services, contact us online or call our office via (512) 768-9737.