Any major life event is reason enough to create an estate plan. Whether you’re welcoming your first child or reaching retirement age, your assets must be protected in case the worst happens. Understandably, you may not want to think about such things, but an estate plan can ensure that your property is dealt with according to your wishes.
Exploring the benefits of a good estate plan
A good estate plan is characterized by the thought that goes into all the contingencies that could occur over a person’s life. By thinking about these potential outcomes, you can create a strategy that will benefit your family members and loved ones. One of the signs of a good estate plan is one that seeks to avoid the probate process. Here are some of the great reasons why you may want to avoid probate:
Delays in distribution: The probate process can take substantial amounts of time to resolve, depending on the estate’s size and complexity. If your family members require your assets’ immediate use, the probate could place them in some financial risk.
Privacy: The probate process is made public. If privacy and personal security is a concern, you may want to keep as many of your assets out of the process as possible. Preventing unwanted disclosures can be vital if you own a business or are trying to avoid the unwanted attention that can come from your assets being listed.
Less control: Probate bestows a certain amount of power to the appointed personal representative and the probate court. By placing your assets in trusts, naming beneficiaries on retirement accounts and making clear instructions for your assets, you can maintain control of the property, even after you’re gone.
Using the available estate tools
Structures like a living trust, also known as a revocable trust, are crucial to maintaining a balance of control over the assets placed into this category and making provisions for the beneficiaries listed. Make sure that your family receives the inheritance they need. Create a well-balanced estate plan.