Planning for the Unexpected: 6 Reasons Why You Should Start or Update Your Estate Planning Right Now

Regardless of your age or the size of your estate, you have undoubtedly worked hard to get where you are today. Protecting your assets and your loved ones, therefore, is something that you should take very seriously. One essential, but all too often neglected, way to do this is through estate planning. The following are several of the many reasons why you should start or update your estate plan right away.

1.   Protect Loved Ones from Probate

If you should pass away without a good estate plan in place, your loved ones will be forced to go through the complex and costly probate process. The probate process will likely cost them a significant amount of money, which means what you have to pass on to them will be reduced. In addition, the probate process is a public matter, so your assets and your loved ones will be exposed to public scrutiny.

2.   Minimize Tax Burdens

For most people, the last thing that they want to have done with their assets after they pass away is have it go to the government instead of their loved ones and beneficiaries. Proper estate planning now can help ensure as little of your estate as possible will be taxed. This will allow everything you’ve worked hard for over the years to go to who you intended for it to go to rather than the government.

3.   Ensure Your Assets are Distributed According to Your Wishes

Those who pass away without a good estate plan in place will leave their assets open to claims from many different parties. Anyone who has even a slight possibility of laying claim to your assets can fight for them, which often causes a lot of internal family strife. With an estate plan in place, you not only ensure that your assets go where you want them, but you also minimize the risk of family in-fighting.

4.   Keep Up with Changing Laws

Even if you have an estate plan in place, you still need to make sure it is updated from time to time. In most cases, an annual review and update is sufficient. This will help to ensure your estate plan is keeping up with the ever-changing laws and regulations that are made at the state and federal levels.

5.   Including All Current Assets

Another reason why regular updates to your estate plan is important is so you can ensure all of your assets are properly accounted for. If you have acquired any significant new accounts, investments, property, or other assets, it is critical to have your estate plan updated to reflect these changes.

6.   Keep Peace of Mind

Having a regularly scheduled review and update of your estate plan is a great way to help keep your peace of mind. By having an attorney look over your current situation and ensure your estate plan reflects it appropriately will give you confidence that you are prepared for whatever comes your way. Contact us to set up a review of your estate plan or to create a new one if you haven’t yet.

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Schlegel Livingston LLC

Schlegel Livingston, LLC is an established real estate and probate/estate planning law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We pride ourselves on being a very hands-on law office who will help our clients by any means necessary.

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