Feb 14, 2012

Estate Planning - Beyond the Basics

Why Do We Need Wills?

Many clients ask, ‘why do I need a will?’ There are many reasons people are hesitant to write their will. The decision to put off this important task can stem from a variety of reasons. Some of the more popular ‘excuses’ are:

Prohibitive cost Fear or discomfort discussing death Procrastination Tangibility

Effect of Not Having a Will

So, what are the effects of not having a proper estate plan in place? These can vary depending on individual circumstances, however some of the issues include:

Inappropriate distribution of assets Guardianship issues Inheritance at 18, no trust provisions No funeral instructions Confusion regarding executors/no choice of executors Probate (tax) of assets which could have been excluded with proper planning Greater time and expense (legal, etc.) Peace of mind jeopardized

Oftentimes pre planning is the most cost effective strategy. Clients that are willing to pay up front to put their affairs in order save time and expense when the estate is administered.

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Photography by Jessie Larimore