In our last post, we talked about the most important reason to prepare a will or a trust- to ensure that your wishes will be honored when you pass. We wanted to give our readers a few more reasons, of the many, why it’s so essential to prepare your estate plan or bring your old plan in for a second look.

Reason #2: To save money and time. Another advantage to creating an estate plan is the possibility of avoiding probate. Probate is the court procedure through which an estate is distributed after death. During probate, a judge orders the distribution of each individual asset. Probate tends to be time consuming and expensive, and the costs for probate (including attorney fees) will be taken directly from the estate itself. When an individual creates a trust, however, all property distributed through the trust will avoid going through probate, thus allowing for the beneficiaries to receive more money in the end. Preparing an estate plan is an expense, but it is an expense that can save your estate from being on the hook for costs upon your death, like probate filing fees and attorney fees.

Reason #3:  To preserve your assets for generations to come. By having a fully customized will or trust, unique for you and your family, you enjoy the ability to get creative with how your assets are distributed when you die. Want to prepare a trust for the care and support of your pet Fido? Want to make sure that your kids are getting an education before they receive their inheritance? Want to provide for a way of protecting the benefits received by your loved one with special needs, while still giving them an inheritance? You can achieve these goals with a well-drafted estate plan, prepared by a knowledgeable attorney.

Reason #4: To ensure that you have documents in place for your incapacity. Estate planning does not mean just wills and trusts or preparing only for your death. Most estate plan packages include powers of attorney for healthcare and property, as well as a Living Will and HIPPA Waivers and Authorizations. Make sure you have a plan for who can act on your behalf with regard to important and time senstitive decisions regarding your property and/or healthcare.

Reason # 5: Your family will thank you. Last, but not least, creating an estate plan will prevent unnecessary family turmoil. Death of a family member is always an emotional event, and while it may bring some family members closer in the end, it can also have the opposite effect. Leaving a probate judge to decide who among your family members should receive which of your assets can lead to some very contentious situations, as family members are left to argue over who deserves what. Rather than fostering a divisive environment among your loved ones upon your death, it is best to create a detailed estate plan that will provide clear-cut instructions for how your property should be distributed. Give them the guidance they need to respectfully administer your estate in accordance with your wishes, and give yourself the peace of mind knowing that your family has clear and unambiguous directions for your estate.

Bottom Line: Everyone and anyone can benefit from creating an estate plan. At Nemani Law, we understand that every client and every estate is unique. Thus, we offer a variety of estate planning options.

For more information on creating an estate plan, feel free to contact Nemani Law in Chicago, IL at 312-646-5323 or email us at info@nemanilaw.com. We are also happy to offer an online chatting component if you want to talk to a real person about your estate planning questions and concerns.

Nemani Law is here to help you plan your way to peace of mind.

Please note that the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.