If you have a spouse, child, or assets worth over $5,000,000 than you need to read this article. Proper estate planning may save your family the financial and emotional drain of costly court fees, legal battles, and excessive estate taxes in the event of your demise. While estate planning is undoubtedly relevant to most adults in all socio-economic levels, there are numbers to suggest that 71% of adults under the age of 34 do not have a will and 41% of baby boomers do not have one either. Are you one of the 71% or 41% that does not have a will?
Below are the top reasons why estate planning is necessary:
1. Avoid the Probate Process
The probate process refers to the administration of your estate through the legal process (Probate Court). This process can be daunting for your loved ones and even place restraints on what your loved ones can and cannot do with the assets in your estate. By naming your loved ones as beneficiaries to your life insurance policy, retirement account, or trust, your loved ones may be able to avoid the legal process of probating your estate during a time of mourning. Spouses may avoid probate as well by jointly owning their assets.
2. Make Your Own Healthcare Decisions Before You are Too Incapacitated
In Georgia, you may choose the medical care that you desire when you no longer have the capacity to communicate the same to your doctors and family with an Advanced Healthcare Directive for Healthcare. By making this election during your estate planning process, you will alleviate this burden from your family.
3. Designate a Trusted Person to Handle Your Financial Affairs Before You are Too Incapacitated
With a financial power of attorney, you may designate someone you trust to handle your financial affairs such as making bank deposits, paying your bills, monitoring your investments, collect benefits, and other money matters whenever you become too incapacitated to handle your own affairs.
4. Avoid the 40% Estate Tax
Individuals with estates worth over $5,000,000 and $10,000,000 for married couples, may help minimize or eliminate the estate taxes their loved ones will be taxed over those amounts. The laws regarding the estate tax has fluctuated over the past decade. The exemption amount and maximum tax rate has risen and fallen at Congress’ whim. Your estate planning attorney may help you to shield your assets from this elusive estate tax through trusts, charitable giving, irrevocable life insurance trusts, and removing assets from your estate.
The above is meant to be general information only and is not legal advice. For your estate planning consultation with Attorney Michael S. Burnett, call 678-905-4450 EXT 3 / www.msb-law.com / MICHAEL S. BURNETT, LLC