We are often asked if wills and estates are important if the person doesn’t have a lot of assets. The answer is yes. Laws on wills and estates apply to everyone, regardless of the size of their estate. Even if you do not have a lot of money in the bank, you need to create a comprehensive estate plan to protect yourself and your family and to address end-of-life issues. An experienced estate planning lawyer can provide you with invaluable assistance in creating and maintaining your plan through inclusion of the right legal tools and right components to secure your future.
Parman & Easterday provides estate planning assistance to people of all income levels. Knowing the laws on wills and estates goes far beyond just understanding how to create a last will and testament. Depending upon your personal and family situation, there are many other legal documents which should be included in an estate plan. Please give us a call today so you can get started with the creation of a plan personalized to meet your needs.
Why Laws on Wills and Estates Matter
Laws on wills and estates matter, even to people without millions of dollars in the bank, for lots of different reasons. While you will not need to worry about federal estate taxes unless you have $5.45 million in your estate (as of 2016), you still need to make sure your family will inherit the money and property for which you worked long and hard.
An estate plan is about much more than just creating a will. Some other components of an estate plan can give you more autonomy in case of incapacity and more control over what happens at the end of your life.
You owe it to yourself and your family to understand the laws on wills and estates because:
- You can spare your family from fighting over assets: If you do not plan for what happens to your property, something will still need to be done with it. Without an estate plan, intestacy laws will determine who inherits. It is common for families to fight over money and precious family heirlooms like mementos. You don’t want your family fighting after you pass away just because you did not plan ahead.
- You can make sure your property is appropriately managed. If you become incapacitated, you will not be able to manage your assets and value could be lost. Guardianship rules allow a close family member to manage your assets, but this can be difficult and time consuming for family members. If you create an incapacity plan as part of your estate plan, you can ensure that the person you name will manage your assets. Likewise, you can name an executor in your will so that upon your passing, this person will be able to manage your assets until they are distributed.
- You can facilitate the quick and effective transfer of assets. If you want to make sure your money or property transfers quickly to your loved ones after death, you can avoid the probate process altogether. This is important if you want new managers to be able to quickly begin managing a family business or taking care of investments you own.
- You can spare your family from making really hard choices when it comes to medical care. If you do not have an advanced plan in place that says what life-saving medical care you want, your family may be forced to make this decision without knowing. Your family could have a difficult time determining your wishes, and family members could end up fighting over whether to provide extraordinary medical care or not.
These are just a few big issues everyone needs to consider, regardless of how much money they have. Laws on wills and estates give you the tools necessary to take care of your family and your own future, no matter what happens to you. Please take advantage of the legal protections available to you.
How an Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help You
Parman & Easterday lawyers can provide you with invaluable assistance as you prepare for your future. To learn more about wills and estates and to get the help you need with your comprehensive estate planning process, give us a call today at (405) 703-9987 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to learn more. You can also learn more about estate planning by joining us for a free seminar.