Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? Only about half of Americans keep some of their New Year’s Resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set goals for yourself in the new year. One important and achievable goal is to get your estate planning in order.

Here are five reasons to have an estate plan:

  1. Avoid the probate court before and after you die. Many potential clients tell us that they want to avoid probate court, but they don’t understand what documents are needed to do so. Typically, to avoid probate, you need more than just a will or at least some careful planning regarding your beneficiaries.
  2. Give clear instructions regarding your wishes to family and friends. Some people have more than one child or no children at all.  An estate plan helps ensure that your wishes are fulfilled how you want them to be when there are multiple people or opinions involved in making decisions.
  3. Make the process flexible for your family and friends. Administering an estate can be a set process (through the court) or a more flexible process (through a trust).  By creating documents that allow your family and friends more flexibility, you can help ease some of the stress that can come after a loved one dies.
  4. Save time and money for your family and friends. Although there is an upfront cost to an estate plan, there can be numerous cost savings after you have died.  By having an estate plan in place, you have already saved your loved one’s time because they know where you want your assets to go and who you want in charge. An estate plan can also save money by helping to avoid the probate process or simplifying the process altogether.
  5. Protect your assets for your beneficiaries. An estate plan can accomplish many things, including protecting your assets for your children or other beneficiaries.  To achieve any desired protection for your beneficiaries, a consultation regarding an estate plan with an experienced attorney is a must.

For more information about estate planning, or to set up a free consultation, please contact a member of the Rhoades McKee Estate Planning and Administration Team.

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