Estate planning is often seen as an asset management process for the ultra-wealthy who own significant assets. However, in reality an estate planning attorney can help anyone trying to manage their financial assets, healthcare directives and final wishes in a financially sound way. A quality estate plan is tailored to the needs of the individual – this ensures that the client remains in control of their assets and that their loved ones are cared for. And even if you have a will already, there are sound reasons for setting up a more comprehensive estate plan.
The Main Reasons Why You Should Consider an Estate Plan
Regardless of your age, financial means or current state of health, estate planning is not something to postpone for another day. An attorney will explain how to develop an estate plan with minimal hassle to realize a number of practical benefits. Here are some of the main reasons to work with an estate planning attorney.
Appointing Legal Guardians
If you have minor children, a will or trust can instruct who will have legal guardianship of your children if you and the other parent happen to pass away at the same time. If you have people you would prefer the children to go to, or alternatively, someone you would not feel comfortable them going to, you can specify it in your estate plan.
Prevents Intestate Succession
When you die without a will or trust, state laws known as “intestate succession laws” will decide which family members will inherit your estate and in what proportion. You will not want the court to make those types of important decisions on your behalf. There also will be hefty court fees in having the court make that determination.
Prevents Family Conflict
Confusion surrounding the division of an estate can cause some terrible family conflict. If you create a clear estate plan then your family and friends can see clearly what your intentions were. While this always doesn’t prevent it, it certainly helps.
Organize Estate Management in Case of Bad Health
Estate planning doesn’t focus only on the beneficiaries of an estate after the estate owner’s death. It can also document what happens if the estate owner becomes incapacitated and can no longer make important decisions. Medical directives can outline end-of-life care for a medical team, while designating durable powers of attorney ensures that a trusted person manages financial and healthcare decisions on the estate owner’s behalf.
Effective Tax Planning
Texas is one of the states that does not have an estate tax or inheritance tax. However, an heir may be liable for federal estate taxes. With many complex tax guidelines to consider, setting up an estate often gives the estate owner peace of mind that their children or other beneficiaries won’t face a hefty tax bill. Trusts, irrevocable gifts and other strategies can reduce the tax burden and better organize assets for future heirs.
Arrange Business Succession Planning
Business succession planning helps avoid confusion after an owner dies, and offers clarity for those involved in the company. Family estate disputes could lead to stagnation within a business as multiple parties seek control of the organization. But with a clear estate plan, the ownership and management structure is predetermined before the owner passes away.
Contact a Trusted Estate Planning Attorney in McKinney
Lucé Law, PC provides estate planning and asset protection services to clients in McKinney and across North Texas. Our legal team is available to discuss wills, trusts, tax planning and other estate planning solutions. To learn more about our services, call (972) 632-1300 or request a free legal consultation today.