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Top 10 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan Today!

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By Alaina Davalos, Esq.

Estate planning should be a top priority for any husband, wife, parent or grandparent who truly cares for the ones they love and wants to ensure family assets are fiercely protected. A thoughtfully prepared estate plan will get assets to beneficiaries quickly and with the least amount of court costs, taxes, legal fees and family disputes.  Here are the top 10 reasons why you need an estate plan today!

  1. As a result of the 2020 elections, it is very likely that current estate and gift tax exemptions (and the GST tax exemption) will be lowered from $11M to $5M leaving millions of dollars exposed to death taxes. Estate planning can help you legally avoid expensive taxes that can negatively impact your estate.
  2. With the divorce rate around 50%, you can protect assets from going to the divorcing spouse of your children by establishing an Inheritance Protection Trust. This ensures you leave the inheritance to your own bloodline, for children and grandchildren, and not for sons-in-law and daughters-in-law.
  3. Wills in probate court are public documents that can be viewed by anyone to see how much you were worth, who your beneficiaries are and how much they inherit. Protect your privacy by using trusts rather than wills. Trusts are private documents that avoid probate and public scrutiny.
  4. Save time, legal fees and taxes for the beneficiaries in settling your estate. Trusts, and not wills, avoid a court proceeding on death called probate. The trustees of the trust may access funds quickly and do not have to wait for court approval.
  5. With an estate plan, you can choose who will care for minor children and how the assets you leave them should be managed. By designating guardians and establishing trusts for your minor children, you ensure they will be taken care of until adulthood.
  6. Estate planning for blended families is a form of asset protection. If you want assets to be distributed fairly among children in blended families and to preserve the intentions of whichever spouse dies first, it is imperative that you consider more complex planning.
  7. An estate plan can help you create Powers of Attorney to designate a family member, friend or professional to take control of financial investments and accounts and manage them on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
  8. Estate plans can also provide for your end-of-life care with a Healthcare Directive., These documents establish your decisions about end-of-life treatment should you be unable to make decisions on your own.
  9. If you are a business owner, you will want to prepare for the future of your company should you die. An estate plan can take care of these arrangements and ensure that you place the future of your company into the hands of a trusted heir.
  10. An estate plan can help you make a sizeable gift to a charity or non-profit without losing much of the money to taxes.


For more information regarding estate planning or probate matters, please contact us at 404-255-7400 or info@hoffmanestatelaw.com.