Nothing is certain except death and taxes…by Michelle Bomberger | December 6, 2011
“‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” In considering Benjamin Franklin’s familiar words, can you say what would happen to your assets and your loved ones if you died unexpectedly?
You might think you don’t need a will because you are young and healthy or perhaps you don’t have many assets. But everyone who owns anything has an estate. This may include a home, cars, bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and personal property such as furniture or jewelry. You have worked your whole life to accumulate the property that you own, and you should be the one to decide how your property will be distributed when you are gone. If you do not plan how your estate will be handled, the government will handle it for you, without regard for your wishes or those of your loved ones.
This fact is what makes estate planning a step of immediate importance that should not be ignored. It helps to ensure that your property will go to the people you want it to go to, in the way you want it to, at the times you want it to and, to a certain extent, how much in taxes the government will receive.
Estate planning also allows you to provide tools and guidance to your family if you should become incapacitated. Your estate plan allows you to make your wishes clear regarding medical treatments and end-of-life care and to appoint an agent to manage your assets if you become unable to do so.
Proper estate planning will give you confidence that your assets are protected and will assist your family with difficult decisions they may not be prepared to handle. It is a sound investment for both you and your loved ones.