Do I really need to create an estate plan?

Thinking about death is generally an unpleasant experience, so it likely comes as no surprise that many people in Minnesota avoid estate planning. However, death is unavoidable, so it only makes sense to create a well-thought-out estate plan in preparation for it. Creating this type of plan is paramount for ensuring that your assets end up in the intended hands.

What exactly is an estate?

An estate is all of the property you own when you die. This can include a life insurance policy as well as securities, such as stocks. Your estate also consists of bank accounts, real estate and personal property – for example, artwork, automobiles and jewelry.

Why is an estate plan important?

A detailed estate plan has the potential to resolve several of the legal questions that crop up when someone dies. It can allow tremendous ease in determining the state of one’s financial affairs, and answer the often contentious question of who gets what after your death. In addition, the transfer of your property can happen as quickly as possible and with minimal legal hurdles. Another advantage of an estate plan is that it allows you to minimize the tax liabilities for your assets your heirs will inherit following your death.

An adequate plan will specify your children’s rightful legal guardian in the event of your death. Other issues you can address through estate planning are the type of funeral arrangements you would prefer in the aftermath of your death as well as ensuring you receive your preference of medical support should you become incapacitated to a point you are unable to communicate your wishes. Finally, you can avoid the costs and time associated with going through probate if you use a payable-on-death bank account or a living trust.

What can you find the support you need?

Ensuring the future wishes for your property and health care are honored is something that could cause you a few sleepless nights. However, there is help and support readily available to you that can bring you much-needed peace of mind. A knowledgeable attorney in Minnesota can walk you through the process of developing a comprehensive estate plan that will meet you and your family’s unique long-term needs.