Everyone has an estate. It might not be much, and you might not think of it as an “estate,” but the fact is, even if you don’t have extensive wealth, you still have an estate. It might consist of a house that you owe money on, or a car that is paid off, or a few thousand dollars in checking and savings, but you have an estate. The question, then, is how do you plan for the distribution of your estate?
No matter how little or how much your estate amounts to, you really, truly can’t take it with you. And if you don’t want your estate distributed according to state law, which is what happens to people who don’t plan for the distribution of their state, then you should engage in some estate planning as soon as possible. A lot of factors should go into your estate plan, including what types of documents and legal tools are right for you. Our Charleston estate planning lawyers at Weeks & Irvine, LLC, are ready to guide you.
When you pass away if you don’t leave instructions – meaning if you don’t engage in estate planning – you will have no say in what happens to your property after you are gone. Most people have at least some desire to make sure that the property and assets they leave behind will go where and to whom they would like those things to go. If you do not leave a will, by default, your assets will be distributed according to state law by “intestate succession”.
Proper estate planning should focus both on who gets your property and whether this happens in a manner consistent with how you have lived your life and the values you hold. This means that the distribution of your property under your estate plan should reflect your personal and religious values. Also, a good estate plan should:
For some, the contemplation of dying is uncomfortable. Luckily, making an estate plan does not mean that your passing is any more imminent. For many, having this taken care of gives them a sense of relief and peace of mind.
Estate planning is not an easy thing to face. Nonetheless, it is something you should do to protect your estate and your family. When you are ready to create your estate plan, you should talk to a legal professional.
There may be many resources available that will allow you to generate your estate planning documents online. However, many mistakes are often made because the directions are unclear and there is no trained professional that can get to know you, understand what you want, and ensure that your documents reflect those desires.