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Four Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan Regardless of Your Income and Wealth

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The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) is fully into effect and it is the first major tax overhaul in over 30 years. This means that if you haven’t reviewed your estate plan, you need to as soon as possible to determine how the tax changes will impact your plan.

While people often think, even before TCJA was enacted, that estate plans are only for the super-rich, that simply isn’t so. In reality, especially after TCJA, everyone can likely benefit from at least a little bit of estate planning.

More than half of all Americans are believed to be without a will according to a recent Gallup News Poll, which leaves their loved ones vulnerable. If you love your family and want to make your passing as easy as possible for your family, you need to take action now.

No matter what your wealth or income level is, the sooner you start creating an estate plan the better off you will be. Here are four reasons why you can benefit from an estate plan.

  1. Family Goals – Having a proper estate plan in place can accomplish a variety of things. First, you need to determine what your goals are. You may need to make arrangements for the care of a minor child, a disabled relative, or an elderly parent. You need to determine how you want your personal and real property distributed. Understanding what your family wants, as well as what they need, is an important start for planning for the future.
  2. Financial Confidence Now and Later – One of the benefits of having an estate plan is that it should make you feel more in control of your finances. Many people find themselves being more disciplined with their finances, which allows them to save for a big purchase, retirement, or other goals. An estate plan will also enable you to dictate when and how your heirs will receive their inheritance. This is especially important for minors who may need guidance in managing their inheritance.
  3. Identify Risks – An estate plan is essential for mitigating against current and future risks. One such example is becoming unable to support your family due to disability, or premature death. An estate plan will allow you to choose who will be in charge of your assets rather than the court appointing a guardian. While it is never fun to think about these types of things happening, preparing ahead of time ensures that your family and loved ones will be prepared if tragedy strikes.
  4. Maintain Privacy – Without an estate plan, a list of your assets may be made available for public view in probate court when you die. Probate is the legal process by which the court administers a deceased person’s estate. Having an estate plan in place will typically avoid the need for any involvement by a probate court so your privacy, and that of your family, will be maintained.

Seek Advice from an Estate Planning Attorney 

It’s easy to see why an estate plan should be an important part of everyone’s future planning, regardless of wealth and income. Attorney David Toback has years of experience helping Florida residents prepare for their future. Contact his office today for a consultation to begin the process of ensuring that you and your family is prepared if tragedy should strike.

Resources:

waysandmeans.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/WM_TCJA_PolicyOnePagers.pdf

news.gallup.com/poll/191651/majority-not.aspx

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