You don’t need to have a summer house in the Hamptons or a private art collection big enough to rival MOMA to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the eyes of the law. Although the term may conjure images of expansive country properties, expensive cars, or other symbols of high wealth, for the purposes of estate planning law, the term “estate” covers a whole lot more.
What constitutes as an estate
Ordinary possessions like homes, jewelry collections, bank accounts, cars, furniture — basically anything you can own — are also under the purview of your estate, meaning estate planning is something that profoundly impacts virtually everyone, not just the “country club” crowd.
So even if you wouldn’t ordinarily consider yourself the owner of an estate, it’s quite likely that you are. The answer to the question “I don’t have an estate. Do I really need an estate plan?” is, “Yes, virtually everyone who owns property could benefit from estate planning.” And estate planning covers more than just property, too: It’s also about ensuring someone you trust can make critical medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so.
4 key advantages of estate planning
Estate planning may seem overwhelming. But you don’t have to go it alone. We know what it takes to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your exact needs. Here are the core tenets of what’s involved in estate planning and how you stand to benefit from the process:
- It allows you to remain in complete control of your property while you’re still alive and well.
- It helps you provide for yourself and your loved ones if you become incapacitated or disabled – without expensive and distracting court hearings.
- It minimizes the impact of professional fees, court costs, and taxes.
- It provides a framework so you can give what you have to whom you want, the way you want, when you want.
Are you ready to sit down with a qualified estate planning attorney to see how you can ensure a better future for yourself and your family? There’s no time to waste — the sooner you take stock of your estate and get critical documents like wills and trusts completed, the better.