With the Holidays upon us, we start to think about time with our families and close friends. We focus on what is important to us and put behind the day to day grind we put ourselves through during the rest of the year. When we pass the void we leave behind is felt by those closest to us. Work may miss for a couple weeks; your bowling league, softball team, etc. maybe for a couple months at best. But our family; spouses, children, parents, siblings, they feel the loss everyday. If it is our responsibility to take care of them in life, why does that responsibility not extend after our death? With everything 2020 has thrown at us, it should be clear now more than ever, that we need to plan for the inevitable. #butzlaw #willandtrust
(1) You control your estate - if you die without a will, you probably assume your spouse gets everything and will decide on the distribution. That is not the case. If you have children from a previous marriage, and most of us do me included, then you need to make sure they get what you want them to get. Otherwise the state will decide. Specific gifts to people need to be spelled out. Don't want Cousin Eddie distributing your estate, say so. Have that estranged parent that disappeared years ago? Write them out of the will. Otherwise they can make a claim on your estate.
(2) Won't you think of the children - I swear this line is in almost every movie. But in this case, you need to think of your minor children. Who will take care of them if you die while they are still minors? The children with your current spouse is obvious. What if they proceed you in death? Then what? More importantly, you can decide who will not get the children.
(3) Minimize taxes - We pay income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc. Do you really want to give the government more money based on your estate that you already paid taxes on?
(4) Minimize time spent tied up in probate - We all know, when someone passes away, all the vultures come out the woods. We hear horror stories about the fights families have. We do not want this for our own family, so why not plan ahead to prevent the heartache?
(5) Tomorrow is not guaranteed - Life is short, no one makes it out alive.
When you are ready to take the next step to protect your loved ones, contact me. I will personally handle your estate planning needs.