“Can I Afford Effective Estate Planning?”
That’s Really Not the Right Question.
What you should be asking yourself is: “Can I Afford Not to Do It?”
You may be asking yourself whether you can really afford to do the effective estate planning that you know needs to be done. That’s not the question to ask. The real question is whether you and your family can afford to be without the protection and security that the right planning provides.
Would you drive without car insurance? How would you feel without the protection that liability and property coverage offers??
Would you leave your home uninsured?
Would you go without health insurance, knowing that any major medical bills could wipe you out?
In the case of the car, home, and health insurance, you’re protecting against the possibility of something happening. If an insured event occurs, then your insurance will cover you, and the premiums you paid for the insurance will be more than worth it.
Estate planning is protecting against the possibility that you might become incapacitated during your lifetime, and the certainty that you will pass away one day.
So what protection and security does the right kind of planning provide?
Protecting You if You Become Incapacitated. If you become incapacitated and need help managing your financial affairs and your medical care, the people you want helping you will need the proper legal documents in order to have the authority to act for you.
Protecting Your Loved Ones. The right kind of estate planning will protect your loved ones from any of the following:
- Creditors – whether they have creditor problems now, or some that arise in the future.
- Predators – people who would take advantage of them after they receive an inheritance from you.
- Poor Financial Judgment – sometimes our loved ones just aren’t good at handling money.
- Loss of Benefits – if you have a loved one with Special Needs, then having the right plan will protect their continuing benefits.
- Family Feuds – Unfortunately, when your planning is not done correctly, horrible feuds can arise between family members, even among siblings who previously got along.
- Divorce Loss – if one of your loved ones got divorced, would you want their ex-spouse to receive half of their inheritance? Without proper planning, that can happen.
- Blended Families – in families where there are children from other marriages, then the right estate planning will protect against one side of the family being inadvertently disinherited.
Protecting Your Assets. The right planning will protect your assets from unnecessary expenses, and the potential for loss from creditors or a nursing home spend-down.
- Probate Expense – If your estate goes through Probate, then your family will pay a much higher cost to administer your estate. The attorney fee to pay in Probate is calculated as a percentage of your assets, starting as high as 4.5%. For example, in Lucas County, the attorney fee for probating a $400,000 estate (gross value) would be $15,000. With the right planning, that cost could be significantly reduced, resulting in savings of up to $11,000!
- Creditors or Long Term Care Spend Down. If you’re concerned about the potential for losing your savings to a nursing home, and if long term care insurance is not an option for you, then the right kind of estate planning can help protect a large portion of your assets and preserve them for your loved ones.
Whether or not your current estate planning is appropriate for your current needs and goals is something you need to be concerned about. In our office, we offer a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation. We meet with you to determine whether your current planning is appropriate for your needs and goals, and make recommendations for any changes that may be required.