Families benefit from estate planning well before it is needed

| Nov 8, 2018 | Estate Planning

The mystery of death is how, no matter how healthy a person might be, it may come at any time. It is many people’s nightmare to find out they have a prognosis of a few months to live. If that moment occurs in reality, the last thing that you would want to do is deal with the necessary end-of-life plans to pass assets and wealth onto the next generation.

Financial experts agree that careful planning has the practical effects of saving money for bequests and time in probate courts or legal disputes. It also has the immediate emotional effect of lowering stress for family members by setting expectations and allowing people to prepare themselves around estate plans.

Preparation can also start supporting inheritors long before the death of a will’s writer. Trusts, mutual funds and other financial instruments can make profits on assets or avoid unnecessary taxation, so children’s college funds or retirement plans are unaffected by possible deduction or fees.

A poll of people with $1 million or more in investable assets shows more than half plan to live for a century. Long life can be expensive, especially when lived well, and early estate planning can preserve assets for bequests and also help with investment planning for your own retirement.

An attorney can help with the vital parts of estate planning, from identifying financial and material assets for bequests to drafting the legal documents that make up a last will and testament. Other legal conveyances, like trusts and payable-on-death accounts, are easier to set up properly with a lawyer.