You have an estate, believe it or not. Almost everyone does, in fact. Your estate includes everything you own, including your automobile, home, other real properties, bank accounts, investments, life insurance, furnishings, and personal belongings. Everyone has an estate, no matter how great or small, and they all have one thing in common: they can’t take it with them when they die.
When that happens (and it will), you’ll probably want to have a say in how those items are distributed to the people or organisations you care about the most. You must offer instructions describing who you want to receive something from you, what you want them to receive, and when you want them to receive it to ensure that your desires are carried out. Of course, you’ll want to pay the least amount of taxes, legal fees, and court charges possible.
That is estate planning: establishing a plan ahead of time, naming the individuals or organisations who will inherit your belongings when you die, and taking efforts now to make carrying out your plan as simple as possible afterwards. However, proper estate planning entails much more. It should also include the following features:
- include arrangements for disability income insurance to replace your income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury, long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in the event of an extended illness or injury, and life insurance to provide for your family in the event of your death
- include instructions for your care and financial affairs if you become incapacitated before you die
Importantly, estate planning is a continuous process rather than a single event. As your family and financial circumstances (as well as the applicable laws) change over time, you should examine and update your plan.
Everyone Should Plan Their Estate
It isn’t just for retirees, though as individuals get older, they tend to think about it more. Unfortunately, we can’t foresee how long we’ll live, because accidents and illnesses strike individuals of all ages.
People who have earned wealth may think more about how to protect it, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Because the loss of time and money as a result of inadequate estate planning is more damaging, good estate planning is generally more significant for families with modest holdings.
Too many people do not plan ahead of time.
People put off estate planning attorney Ontario ca because they believe they do not own enough, they are too old, it will be too expensive or confusing, they will have enough time later, they do not know where to begin or who can assist them, or they simply do not want to think about it. When anything bad happens to them, their loved ones are left to pick up the pieces.