Implementing an estate plan may seem scary. It’s frightening any time you have to consider a world without you in it, but creating a Will or Trust doesn’t have to be a fearful time.
Why create an estate plan?
Estate planning puts your finances in order. You’ll know exactly where your money and property are when you create an estate plan with an attorney. You can also designate a guardian for your children. Estate planning ensures that your kids are raised by someone who shares your values and parenting style. This also prevents the legal system from naming a guardian without your consent. If you own a home or property, you can make sure your property goes to your selected beneficiary in the event of your passing. Also, if you own a business, you can pass ownership on to a beneficiary of your choosing.
How many Americans create an estate plan?
According to WealthCounsel’s 2016 Estate Planning Literacy Survey, only 40% of Americans have created a will and just 17% have a trust in place and funded. When it comes to estate planning, knowledge is vital. Less than half of those surveyed by WealthCounsel understood that an estate plan can be used to address several aspects that can be costly or complicated without a plan, including health decisions and guardianship, preventing family conflicts, and taking advantage of business and tax benefits. Based on the statistics, there’s a good chance that you’re among those who haven’t panned their estate.
Are there famous examples of poor estate planning?
It’s common for celebrities to have detailed estate plans that make sure that their family and loved ones are taken care of. But even the rich and famous can create problems after their passing if they don’t create a proper will or trust. A few famous examples include:
- Prince died without a will and left lawsuits and lawyer’s fees for his family.
- Whitney Houston’s daughter suffered through several issues due to a poorly updated will.
- James Gandolfini didn’t finish his will before he passed. His family had to pay large tax bills upon his death.
- Michael Jackson set up trusts for his children, but never funded them. His children are still fighting in court.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman never set up trusts for his children. The government taxed their inheritances heavily .
How can I avoid an estate planning nightmare?
Estate planning is an opportunity to plan for the future and provide security for your loved ones. Creating a trust or drafting a will doesn’t have to be scary. Learn more about the why, and contact LaCava Law Firm, LLC in Geneva by calling (630) 444-7304 to get more details on planning your estate.