5 Benefits of Estate Planning

Are you thinking about starting the estate planning process? Here's what you need to know.

Whether you're married with kids, a young professional, or a successful business-owner approaching retirement, estate planning offers a number of benefits. It's never too early to start thinking about the future and what your wishes are for both your heirs and your assets. Consider meeting with a professional estate planning lawyer who can guide you through the process of creating a will. Your attorney can also help you create a power of attorney, as well as a trust. No matter what your current lifestyle looks like, there are several benefits to estate planning now.

1. You can communicate with your loved ones.

One of the most important reasons to plan your estate is to communicate your wishes with your loved ones. Sometimes talking about things like funeral arrangements or your burial preferences can be difficult. Creating a will is one of the most effective ways you can ensure that your family members know what your end-of-life wishes are. Additionally, having your end-of-life and funeral wishes clearly expressed in your will ensures that relatives will not need to argue about what you might have wanted. When someone passes away, emotions tend to run high. Sometimes family members don't always think clearly or communicate well, but expressing your desires in a will eliminates any confusion.

2. You can protect your assets.

Chances are you've accumulated a number of financial or physical assets during your lifetime. There's no reason to leave their future up to chance. Instead, create a will or trust that ensures your assets will be protected after you pass away. There are different types of trusts available that you can use to protect your financial and physical assets, including property and companies. More importantly, creating these documents ensures you'll be able to dictate exactly who these assets go to after you pass away.

3. You can name your heirs.

When you create a will, you'll be able to name specific heirs. You can dictate exactly who will benefit from your estate. Additionally, you may also exclude specific people from your will. This is called "disinheriting" someone. If you have a family member you do not communicate with or someone you do not want to benefit from your estate, talk with your lawyer about this so you can include this specification in your will.

4. You can protect your furry family members.

You don't have to leave your family pets out of your will. In fact, with a pet trust, you can dictate exactly what should happen to your pets after you pass away. A trust also enables you to set aside funds that will be used to care for your pets in the way you desire.

5. You can reduce inheritance taxes.

It's no secret that inheritance taxes can drastically reduce the amount you're able to leave to your heirs. If they have to pay taxes, they may not reap the full benefit of the inheritance you leave them. Your estate planning attorney can help you to create an irrevocable trust that can ensure your heirs do not have to pay taxes on assets that have been placed in that trust prior to your death.

When you're ready to start the estate planning process, reach out to your attorney today. They'll be able to guide you throughout the entire process. They can also answer your questions and let you know how you can best protect your family members and yourself.