Five Reasons You Need A Professional Estate Plan

Many options exist today for how to complete your estate plan. You can do it yourself, hire a professional, or decide to go with the government’s plan (intestacy). Here are five reasons why you want to make sure you have a professional estate plan:

  1. Small Business: With over 30 million small businesses in America, you may have a business yourself, be involved in one, or will be inheriting one. If you own a small business, it is essential to plan your estate carefully. Not only do you need a well-designed personal estate plan, but you also need a business succession plan and other planning needs. Your personal and business plan should be designed together to ensure they work cohesively.
  2. Complex Families: Families are becoming more complex. Second and third marriages, adoptions, non-traditional marriage, domestic partnerships and more create the need for customized planning. With a twist in every family, it is essential that you work with a professional who can design a plan that fits your needs and circumstances.
  3. Troublesome Heirs: Your loved ones, including your kids and grandkids, may have personal struggles and challenges. You must carefully design your estate plan so that you help them preserve what you’ve worked so hard for. Examples of issues include divorce, creditor problems, lawsuits, bankruptcy, spendthrift habits, addiction and more. Leaving assets through a simple will without a trust can spell trouble for these beneficiaries. Finally, you never know what will happen in the future so it’s best to plan for circumstances like those mentioned here.
  4. Long-Term Care: Your simple will is not enough to take care of your long-term care planning needs. Since we are living longer today, there is a greater chance you will need long-term care. Long-term care costs are significant, but you can help preserve part of your estate for your heirs whether you need long-term care or not if you take the time to plan. Again, your will and powers of attorney are not enough to accomplish this crucial issue.
  5. Non-Probate Assets: Your IRA’s, life insurance, annuities and other assets do not pass through your will. These assets are often the most significant assets in one’s estate. Consider that if you put together a simple will, you would fail to be planning for a huge portion of your estate. Only a professional can help ensure you have a complete plan. Accounts like IRA’s present a lot of opportunity for passing wealth onto the next generation, but you must ensure it’s done properly.

A will and a power of attorney is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to estate planning. Make sure you work with a professional estate planning attorney to ensure that you leave a positive legacy, minimize inheritance taxes and fees, and have peace of mind.

If you need professional assistance with your estate plan, please contact us today at (215) 706-0200.