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What is Estate Planning, and Why is it Important?

As we age, it is important to consider the future and how our assets can benefit our loved ones. With an estate plan in place, you can ensure that your family has the support they need after you are gone.

Estate Planning Basics

So, what is estate planning? Your “estate” refers to everything you own, including bank accounts, investments, businesses, homes, cars, and other personal possessions. Estate planning enables you to indicate how you want your assets to be managed in the event of your incapacitation and distributed in the event of your death. The memorialization of these decisions in the appropriate documents is essential to protect your assets and ensure that your family is financially stable.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate the process of determining how to provide for and protect your beneficiaries, understand the tax issues and administrative issues that will affect your estate. Here we explore the benefits of working with a skilled estate planning attorney and how JGL can simplify the process.

Why is Estate Planning Important?

Estate planning allows you to leave your assets to the people and causes in your life that are important to you. There are numerous advantages to preparing an estate plan, including protecting your family, avoiding hefty taxes, and eliminating obstacles for your loved ones. To start, you can create an estate planning checklist to build a solid foundation and identify critical factors for your estate.

Read on, as we outline some of the most important benefits and considerations involved with estate planning.

Name Your Beneficiaries and Manner of Distribution

One of the most important aspects of estate planning is naming your beneficiaries and determining how best to distribute the assets to them. A beneficiary is the person, trust, or organization named to receive your assets upon death. Naming your beneficiaries and selecting the manner of distribution for their benefit are important decisions. It is helpful to contemplate your potential beneficiaries, their respective situations, and the tax issues affecting your estate, to determine how you would like to divide your assets among them.

Reduce Taxes for Heirs

One of the most significant benefits of working with a skilled estate attorney is that you can avoid or delay substantial taxes. Death-related taxes are assessed and paid out of the deceased person’s estate, so if taxes are high this can have a significant impact on your heirs and beneficiaries. An estate plan can ensure more of your estate goes to those you intended, provide peace of mind, and help your heirs avoid financial hardship.

Determine Protective Measures for Your Children

An integral part of the process is determining how best to manage assets for the benefit of your children.  If you and your spouse pass before your children turn eighteen years old, the court system will decide who will care for them unless guardians are identified. It is important to choose people who you trust among your relatives, close friends or loved ones, to serve as guardians for your children.

Planning for the management and protection of your assets for the benefit of children who have reached the age of eighteen is also important to consider.  An experienced estate planning attorney can help you understand the estate planning options to help your children of any age in light of your concerns for them the particular issues that they may face or your concerns for them.

Protect Family Relationships

By preparing an estate plan, you can prevent arguments or disagreements between family members, as your wishes regarding the distribution and management of your assets to protect and improve the lives of your spouse, children and other beneficiaries will be clear. Estate planning can help facilitate healthy dialogue about these issues that protects family relationships for the long term.

Work with a Trusted Estate Planning Attorney

When determining the next steps for estate planning, seek advice from the experienced attorneys at JGL Law. We provide individually tailored guidance regarding wills, trusts, wealth preservation, tax planning, guardianships, trust administration, and other estate-related matters. Our estate planning attorneys provide strategic insight to preserve your assets for those you wish to benefit. We understand this process can be challenging. Our team works diligently to identify potential issues and make the process seamless and understandable for you and your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our skilled estate planning attorneys. 

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