Did you know that only less than 40% of adults in the United States have an estate plan?
The numbers dwindle as you move down the age range of the individuals who do have a trust or will. This might make you wonder about the reasons why people shy away from establishing an estate plan, especially when the benefits (which we’ll discuss later on) of doing so are loud and clear.
Specializing in estate planning and elder law, we have heard some legitimate reasons (and many excuses) for why people don’t take time to think about their estate planning. Unsurprisingly, the most common reason is the morbidity of thinking about life after we’ve passed away.
Despite the inevitability of our own mortality, humans tend to ignore this aspect of life. It’s daunting, overwhelming, and too scary. The uncertainty about how your family and loved ones will survive without taking care of them financially can be anxiety-inducing.
Other common reasons people procrastinate hiring an estate planning attorney include:
1. People assuming that they aren’t old enough yet. Death and physical incapacity doesn’t filter age. It can be unexpected and affect people at any point in their life. If you’re an adult with assets to your name, an estate planning attorney will help you sort out your estate plan as you make your way through life.
2. People thinking they don’t have enough assets for an estate plan. This reason stems from misinformation. If you have an IRA, a car, a house, and a savings account, you need a will to detail who gets what as probate is not exactly a short process.
3. People think not having multiple children to fight over the estate or no children at all exempts them from establishing an estate plan. This is totally false as, without an estate plan, your assets will go through probate court, which means that your plans for certain beneficiaries might not be fulfilled.
4. People not wanting to pay for an estate planning lawyer. You have to pay their fees upfront but it’s nothing compared to the stress your loved ones will face when sorting out your estate after your passing.
As we mentioned before, these are only a few reasons why people don’t make an estate plan. While valid concerns, the cost of not having an estate plan is counter-reason enough to compel you to take this step.
With your family’s financial future at stake, the sooner you decide to plan your estate is the right decision to make. If you’re still a little intimidated by the notion of planning a future you might not be around to see, the following benefits of hiring an estate planning attorney might give you a much-needed nudge in the right direction.
They can help you avoid a lengthy probate process
The probate process assesses a deceased person’s estate and will, transferring assets to the rightful heirs. While effective, this court process can take up multiple years and can be very expensive. Don’t forget that it is public, which means people can contest the will and other legal documents.
Hiring an estate planning attorney in Omaha will ensure that your legal document is designed for a swift probate process. If you want to stay clear of probate completely, your estate planning attorney can help you set up a trust.
They know what goes into setting a valid estate plan
This goes without saying.
When you’re working with an estate planning attorney in Omaha, you have access to their professional expertise and experience. They know that an estate plan needs a will/ pour-over will/ trust, Power of Attorney, Medical proxy, General Assignment, and Guardianship Nomination, among other documents.
They’ll make sure that you name the right beneficiaries, don’t make mistakes with what assets to name in the plan, make sure assets are titled correctly, and that it includes every detail necessary for protecting your family’s financial situation. This also includes special considerations for beneficiaries with special needs.
Reduce tax liabilities
Estate taxes can be a doozy to figure out on your own. You ensure estate and debt can be liable to have federal estate taxes levied on them. Hiring an estate planning lawyer means you won’t have to sit flipping through complicated legislation and tax regulations.
Your attorney will assess your estate’s worth, your current debt, and liable deductions to map out what taxes apply. They will also help you sort out how you can avoid reduce those liabilities and maximize your wealth.
They add objectivity
Besides saving you from the pitfalls of DIY-ing your way through the estate planning process, an attorney will add some much-needed objectivity.
Considering that death and physical and mental incapacity are heavy subjects, estate planning can be a pretty emotional process. Biases can slip in easily, swaying your decisions. An estate planning attorney in Omaha will become a voice of reason and unbiased opinions.
Your estate planning is what keeps your family’s future secured down the road. Without it, your family will have to sit through long days at the probate court while dealing with the mental trauma of losing you.
You might have plans for bequeathing certain assets to a charity and a plan for how you want your estate to be divided between your children. Also, without an estate plan, your last rite and funeral wishes may go unfulfilled.
With Welch Law Firm, hiring a professional estate planning lawyer in Omaha is two steps easier. Regardless of your age and the size of your estate, we can help you find a solution that allows you to experience all the benefits of having an estate planning attorney by your side.
Give us a call today to begin the process of establishing plans for the time when you’re not around to take care of your family.