Take Charge: With an Estate Plan, You Call the Shots

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan may sound like something fancy, but it’s just a name for the legal documents that will direct who your property goes to after you pass away. An estate plan can be a Will or a Trust.

Estate planning is the highly personal process of working with a professional to determine your wishes and goals, decide how to fulfill them, and strategize to minimize taxes.  

What happens to my property if I don’t have an estate plan in place?

If you don’t have a Will or Trust in place when you pass away (this is called dying intestate), the state will determine who gets your property. Each state has its own intestate succession laws, but the general policy is the same: to pass along property to the closest family members. Your property will go through the state’s intestate succession process.

For some families, the state’s plan may work out OK. But if your family story includes divorce, second marriages, stepchildren, or members with special needs, the state’s plan may not take care of your family the same way you would. 

And, as you can imagine, tax planning is not part of the state’s plan.

Benefits of having an estate plan.

The primary benefit of creating an estate plan is that you get to decide how your property is handled. You may want to acknowledge a nephew who followed in your footsteps and chose a career in public service. You may want to support an organization that means a lot to you. Or maybe you want to ensure that your first spouse is taken care of. They are your assets. You worked hard for them. You get to call the shots.

But there are additional benefits to going through the estate planning process. Having an estate plan in place can give you peace of mind and, once you’re gone:

  • Ensure any minor children are cared for by the guardians you appoint
  • Prevent disagreements among family members
  • Minimize tax consequences
  • Speed the process of distribution

Next steps.

At Wilson Law PLC, we take special pride in guiding our clients through the estate planning process. We understand that it can be a difficult journey. We make taking that first step easy by offering a free consultation. Call Wilson Law PLC today at 866-603-5976 to set up your complimentary meeting to discuss your concerns and goals or fill out our contact form and we will call you to schedule your meeting.