Why Everyone Should Have an Estate Plan (Because If You Don’t the State Has One For You)

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Every person has an estate of some size. For some people it’s modest but for others it is very substantial. An estate is basically everything you own from your clothes to your home. It also includes intangibles such as your checking and savings accounts, 401k, Roth IRA, and life insurance policy. Everyone also has another thing in common in that you can’t take any of these things with you when you’re dead. 

It is for these two reasons that everyone should have an estate plan in place. This article goes into the details of why this is the case. Most people want to control what happens to the things they own once they die and the way to do so is by having an estate plan in place for that eventuality. In an estate plan, you list out who you want to receive things you own, what those things are, and when they can take ownership. You will also no doubt want to do this in the most tax efficient way possible. 

Getting the help of professionals to help with your estate plan need not be that expensive. You will need a few attorneys to make sure everything is legal and ironclad. This includes the attorney that puts together the estate plan itself as well as a real estate attorney who will advise on handling what is most likely your largest “thing” which is your home. While estate planning is similar across the country an attorney will know what differences there are in your state as estates are managed on the state level rather than federal. Estate planning Tucson AZ can be expected to cost around $1250 for an individual and roughly $1800 for a married couple. The cost in other cities can be expected to run around the same amount. 

If you die without an estate plan you put together the unfortunate thing is that the state you live in has one for you that you probably won’t like very much. The state will distribute all of your assets according to the probate laws that exist in your state. This means a judge will decide who gets your assets rather than your family members. Not only is this a problem as you have no control over gets your items, but it is also rather expensive and decreases the financial amount of assets to be distributed. 

Real estate attorney and other legal professionals that deal with estate planning need to keep on top of the current laws. One big change in estate planning occurred a few years ago when the United States Supreme court made a ruling in regards to inherited IRAs as this article explains. 

In this article, a woman had declared bankruptcy and wanted the inherited IRA she owned to be not subject to the claims of creditors. The Supreme Court rules that since she had to withdraw money from it each year it was not a retirement account and so could be taken by her creditors. A good lawyer will know how to avoid this type of situation once you pass away.

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