Estate Planning Basics: Who Needs an Estate Plan?

There are a lot of things about estate planning that are not exactly “fun.” But as we all know, many things we need in life, while by no means fun, are important—like paying taxes. Regardless, we pay our taxes because it protects us from big consequences. Your estate plan is no different in this respect. You need an estate plan because it’s pure protection. 

Protection for and from whom? In short, for: your loved ones, from: uncertainty and the undesirable outcomes that it breeds. But let’s back up for a second. What is estate planning in the first place? It’s more than just drafting a will. It’s the process of determining what happens to your assets after you die. This is where protection comes in. Estate planning ensures your family and loved ones are cared for in accordance with your wishes. 

Let’s talk a bit about what you’re protecting against. Probate is a messy subject for a later post. At its core, it is a complex process that adds cost and stress to an already difficult time—the passing of loved ones. 

Protection isn’t the only aspect of an estate plan that makes it essential. Ultimately, your estate plan is an investment in your future. Through estate planning, you’ll be building your legacy and ensuring the wellbeing and success of your progeny. 

Why do you need an estate plan? Because everyone has an estate, regardless of how much money you have. Even though the term brings to mind mansions and champagne, it really just refers to everything you own: real estate, checking accounts, jewelry, and everything in between. 

Your estate plan is a way for you to protect the people you love even though you’re no longer with them. In this way, it’s an invaluable gift to those you’ve left behind to ensure their stability and carry out your last wishes in a meaningful and lasting way. 

New to Aaron Cohen Law? At Aaron Cohen Law, we are committed to providing affordable legal advice, strategic planning, and advocacy for all individuals preparing for their future. For more information, contact us here.

Estate Planning Basics: Steps for Getting Started

It’s time to get started with your estate plan. We will go into the technical step-by- step in later posts, but for now here are some things to think about before doing your own estate plan or calling an attorney. First, do some inventory on your assets—namely, what they are and what is their value. This process also requires you to evaluate the people in your life whom you can trust. This decision is a big one because these individuals will play key roles in your plan. Think about who you would designate to manage your assets or make decisions for you if you were to become unable. Also, you may need to consider who would take care of your children (if they’re under 18) when you pass. Since these are enormous decisions with serious repercussions, give yourself plenty of time to think about them. Then, as you should do with everything important, put it in writing. Finally, try to make the decision of how you want your remains to be laid to rest. While this is probably the last thing you want to think about,it’s important that you’re not putting extra stress on your loved ones to make decisions for you. In the end, saving them from these types of worries is the primary goal of estate planning. 

Why do you need a lawyer? Estate planning is made up of many components—all complex and all boring. But these components, including tax planning, medical planning, business and financial planning, are not boring to a lawyer. This is someone who’s dedicated their life and career to understanding all of the complexities so you don’t have to. Most importantly, an attorney will be able to explain everything to you in a way that’s easy to grasp, as well as answer any of your questions and address your concerns. That’s especially important for an estate plan that is constantly undergoing revisions and requiring updates. 

New to Aaron Cohen Law? At Aaron Cohen Law, we are committed to providing affordable legal advice, strategic planning, and advocacy for all individuals preparing for their future. For more information, contact us here.