Four Reasons For Estate Planning Versus Writing A Will

Posted on: 17 June 2015

Estate planning has certain advantages over a legal will, and you need to understand how they will benefit you and your family. Everyone should have a last will and testament, so surviving loved ones can understand exactly what your wishes were in the event of your death. This includes non-financial wishes, such as whether you want to be buried or cremated; but estate planning goes beyond the scope of a simple will. The following are four benefits of estate planning.

You can avoid the probate process.

With estate planning, most, if not all, of the probate process can be avoided. Once your estate goes through probate, there will usually be a delay of several months before assets can be transferred to family members. The delay can mean hardship to loved ones who need these assets to maintain their current financial status. In addition, there will be fees incurred by probate attorneys as the estate goes through the court system.  

You can create a living trust.

This includes money or assets that are set aside for heirs while you are still living. This trust is separate from your will and does not go through probate. You can make sure certain loved ones receive an inheritance while you are still alive. In addition, a living trust can be set up for charitable organizations.

You can plan ahead.

Although a living will can be done separately, it is also a part of comprehensive estate planning. This type of will expresses your desires under various medical circumstances.

In most cases, it is when you are on life support and your brain is no longer functioning. Arguments and legal filings can last for months over whether the machines should be disconnected or whether to keep you alive. A living will provides doctors clear instructions on what to do, and keeps conflict between family members and other interests to a minimum.

You can designate decision making.

It is possible that you can suffer from diminished mental capacity due to an accident or, in some cases, due to an age-related mental disease. In circumstances such as these, it is important to designate who has the legal authority to make decisions that you would normally make. Power of attorney is not only for your personal finances, but it can apply to areas of business as well.

Much of what is included in the category of estate planning applies to a wide cross section of people and income levels. Estate planning is not just for those with a large portfolio of assets. You can benefit from estate planning too. You can contact a professional attorney, like those at Donald B Linsky & Associate Pa, to find out how estate planning can benefit you specifically.