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  • Susan Floyd

5 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan to Protect Your Family

Updated: Oct 21, 2018

It’s an Act of Love.  Creating an estate plan in an expression of love and support for your spouse, children and other family members.  The death or disability of a family member can be extremely stressful and can create unnecessary conflict among family members.  An estate plan provides your family with clear instructions they can follow and leads them through a difficult emotional process.
Asset Protection and Tax Planning. After years of working, you want your money and resources to go to your chosen beneficiaries and not to the government or a predator.  Having an estate plan will protect your spouse, if he or she remarries after your death.  It can protect the assets that you leave to your children and ensure they receive an education or that the money is used for a good purpose and is not subject to creditors.  It can also minimize taxes and expenses in transferring property to your loved ones.
You Stay in Control. You want to choose who has the power to manage your finances and health.  If you do not have an advanced health care directive and financial power of attorney, your family may have to go through the cumbersome and expensive process of getting a court order if you become incapacitated.  You want to choose who has power over your money and your health.  You also want to choose who will be in charge of your estate when you pass away.  If you do not have an estate plan, there will be expense, delay and court intervention in your affairs.
Taxes, Emotional Strain and Delay. Without an estate plan, your family may not have immediate access to the money they need.  A grieving family that is already under stress should not also have to worry about having enough money to pay the bills.  Having a plan in place will ensure that your loved ones have the immediate support they need.  Planning will also help to reduce expenses and taxes.
It’s Critical for Minor Children. No one likes to think about the possibility of passing away before their children reach adulthood.  But, it is important to have a plan for your children’s care in the event you are unable to care for them.  In that situation, a court will appoint a guardian to have custody of your minor children to ensure their proper care.  You can only appoint the person or persons that you wish to serve as guardian for your children in your will.  If you do not have a will, there may be conflict over who will take care of your children and a court will decide.   Every parent of minor children should have a Will and a plan in place to provide for their care.
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