It’s National Estate Planning Awareness Week (Oct. 19-25, 2020) as designated by the U.S. Congress, and you know what that means … the holiday season is almost upon us! Typically the holidays are a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate the happy events of the past year and to look ahead to the future with hope and optimism.
Due to the worldwide pandemic, this year’s holiday season will certainly be different for many families. While COVID-19 is causing families to put off travel, celebrations and large gatherings, it’s important that you don’t put off everything until a later date, especially your estate planning. Developing a strategy now that will help maintain the financial security of your family throughout their lifetimes and ensure the transfer of your property and assets when you pass is even more essential than ever.
Don’t Procrastinate or Put Off Your Estate Planning
Unfortunately, many people do put off their estate planning until it’s too late or mistakenly believe they don’t have enough assets. Estate planning is not just for older folks or the super-rich, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. In addition to setting up a Last Will and Testament, estate planning encompasses a wide variety of planning techniques that will protect your assets during your life. A proper estate plan can also set up guardians for your young children or family members with special needs, plan for your disability, plan for your future long-term care, ensure that your assets and possessions go to the people whom you want to receive them, help your family avoid probate, and minimize taxes for you and your decedents.
Is It Time To Review Your Estate Plan?
If you created a will 30 years ago when your children were young or when you didn’t have many assets, and haven’t updated it since, it’s definitely time to review, revise and update your estate plan. In fact, you should update your estate plan every few years to reflect any major changes, events or milestones in your family, such as new births, deaths, marriages and divorces, the independence of your children or significant changes in your assets.
Everyone Needs This!
Regardless of the size of your estate, estate planning is essential for everyone. In addition to creating a will and/or trusts, estate planning includes creating advance directives, such as a living will, durable power of attorney and designation of healthcare surrogate that allow you to name the people who you want to make decisions for you if you no longer can due to illness, injury of incapacity.
Avoid the Costs of Probate
Estate planning also makes life infinitely easier and less costly for your family after your death. If you die without a will, your assets will need to pass under state probate statues, and without an estate plan, a court may need to decide who will receive your assets (at a much higher cost of probating with a will). What’s more, if you are suddenly disabled or incapacitated due to serious illness, injury and/or dementia later in life, your family may be faced with costly court proceedings for your guardianship or the establishment of trusts. An estate plan now may be much more cost effective in the long run than having to go to court for these proceedings. What’s more, your estate plan is really your legacy that you leave behind for your beloved family members, friends and even charities and personal causes.
Contact the Estate Planning Experts
During National Estate Planning Awareness Week and every week, Elder Law Associates PA wants to help you create a comprehensive estate plan that not only reflects your love for your family and ensures your wishes will be followed, but also to protect your legacy for many generations to come.
If you have questions about estate planning, the many techniques used or where you should start, contact us today to set up a discussion with one of our attorneys, who can advise you on the right course for you and your family. Now is a great time to make sure your affairs are in order and to discuss any major changes in your life with estate planning. Find out more about estate planning in Florida or New York on our website, or call 1-800-ELDERLAW or (561) 750-