It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning

What is something that we all have in common?  Believe it or not, it’s that we all have an estate.  Your estate is comprised of everything that you own.  If you do not have a plan for how to address your assets if something happens to you, your loved ones will likely have to go through a lengthy and expensive process that ultimately involves a court making these decisions for your family.  If you have minor children, this process can be even more complex and challenging.

So, what can you do about it?  The easiest thing to do is to create an estate plan.  An estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out by providing clear direction about your assets and how to take care of your loved ones.  No matter how large or how modest your estate, here are a few key reasons why you need an estate plan:

  1. Make Things Simple: When you are gone, your family will be left to manage your affairs during a time of grief.  Without a plan, this process can be extremely stressful.  A proper estate plan can help alleviate that stress by providing clear and straightforward direction about who is to receive your assets and when they should receive them.
  1. Minimize Expenses: A proper estate plan can keep the costs of handling your estate as low as possible, leaving more money for your loved ones.  Without a plan, your estate could end up paying significant amounts in taxes, legal fees and court costs.
  1. Provide for Your Family Immediately:  Without a plan, it is likely that your assets will have to go through probate.  The probate process can take a significant amount of time, during which, your loved ones may not have access to all of your assets.  This could create significant financial strain for your family.
  1. Take Care of Your Children: If you have minor children, a proper estate plan will outline a plan for their care and financial protection.  Without a plan, a court will decide, without your input, where you kids will live and who will make important decisions about their money, education and way of life.

Tragedy and illness can strike at any time.  Unfortunately, these events usually leave you with little or no time to protect your family and create a plan for your estate.  As such, it’s never too early to start planning.

Please contact me to start the planning process today!  I am a Michigan and Florida attorney who focuses on estate planning, real estate and business and would be honored to help you and your family with your planning needs. I can be reached at (810) 936-4040, mjames@michaeljameslaw.com or www.michaeljameslaw.com.