Nobody likes to face their own mortality, but there are many reasons for you to plan ahead and prepare an estate plan with a qualified attorney. Here are a few.
Protecting Your Family
For most parents, protecting their children is their top priority. That is why it is shocking how many parents fail to put a plan in place for their care. If parents die suddenly, young children can be left in limbo. Family members might not be able to afford to take them in, or the children may have to uproot their lives to move. A good estate plan will explain how your minor children should be cared for and provide funds to take care of them.
Estate plans are also important to preventing conflicts around your death. Money is, of course, the most common source of fights. One sibling might have provided elderly care for his parents and could be upset if another sibling gets an equal share of their estate. You can avoid a lot of conflicts by putting a strong legal plan in place with a lawyer backing you up.
The government is always looking to get a piece of whatever money you have collected over the course of your lifetime. Luckily, Idaho has no gift, inheritance, or estate taxes. That is not a free pass from the tax man, though. Smartly transferring your legacy to your heirs implicates a number of other state tax issues, and there is always the federal government to worry about. Retirement and college savings accounts can have tax implications, and tax returns need to be filed as part of probate. Preserving your legacy requires help from a tax expert.
Losing a loved one can be devastating. Poor planning can make it worse. It can be hard to grieve when you are suddenly entrusted with wrapping up that loved one’s affairs. You could be stuck trying to track down the assets owned by the dearly departed family member, and then trying to guess what he or she would have wanted done with those assets. Finding the right help in a moment of grief can be an extra burden.
On the other hand, if you leave a strong estate plan in place, your heirs will simply have to activate it. A strong estate plan will identify major assets, explain what should be done with them, and name somebody to make decisions. In Idaho, that person is called a personal representative. The professional that developed the estate plan is usually well prepared to help the personal representative administer the estate.