If you’re like most people, you know that you need some sort of estate plan, but aren’t completely sure why. Here are 4 more things your estate plan can do.
1. Help a favorite cause
Charitable planning is an important part of estate planning. It is a way of leaving your legacy or making your mark on the world. Helping a favorite cause may be as simple as making provisions for a $1,000 gift or bequest to your community library or as complex as establishing a private family foundation that could build an entirely new library. Your estate planning attorney can show you how you can make a difference based upon your goals and assets.
2. Business succession
For small business owners, business succession is an integral part of estate planning. If you die without an estate plan in place, including business succession planning, your business may collapse, be sold in a fire sale, or cause family discord and stress.
3. Avoid court interference
Without an estate plan in place, the court and state law will decide who is in charge of your assets and your children if you die and who’s in charge of you, your money, and your children should be become disabled. The results may not be what you would want.
4. Provide asset protection for your beneficiaries
Comprehensive estate planning often incorporates the asset protection for the assets you give to your loved ones during your lifetime or at your death. For example, you can pass your assets to your beneficiaries in a protective trust, instead of outright.
When the assets are in a protective trust, they can be shielded from your beneficiary’s divorcing spouse in a property settlement or by other creditors in lawsuits.
If you have questions regarding what an estate plan can do, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.