If you are not especially wealthy, you might believe there is no reason to plan out your estate after you die. After all, you assume your children and grandchildren will lay claim to whatever you own and split your bank accounts, life insurance, and other assets evenly.
In fact, wealthy people are not the only ones who benefit from putting their wishes for their money and assets into writing. Even people of modest means can make valuable use of professional estate planning services.
Providing for the Care of a Special Needs Dependent
One of the main reasons why you may want to use estate planning services involves ensuring the future of a special needs dependent. If you have a child with special needs, you need to make sure they will be provided for even after you die.
Your estate planning attorney can help you determine how much money you may need to leave for their care after you pass away. Your lawyer can also put in writing your wishes for any portion of your life insurance or Social Security benefits to be placed in a trust on which the special needs dependent's caretaker can draw.
Creating a Trust
Another reason to use estate planning services involves creating a trust that you can fund and place assets in while you are alive. When you place money and assets in this trust, you may spare them from being taxed after your death. As long as they remain in the trust, they may not be subject to taxation.
You can also stipulate in your estate planning what relatives can have access to this trust. You can ensure that only those listed in your will gain access to the money and funds you save for them.
Avoiding Probate Court
Finally, estate planning can spare your estate from having to go through the probate process. Probate can be expensive and chip away at how much money you leave behind in your estate. By placing your wishes in writing now, you give clear direction for how and to whom you want your assets and money distributed. You eliminate the need for a probate judge to settle your estate for you.
Estate planning can benefit people of all financial means. You can plan ahead for the care of a special needs dependent. You can also set up and fund a trust and likewise save your estate from having to go through probate court.