One of the best reasons to do estate planning is just to stave off family disputes before they begin. Without a plan, heirs will often argue over all manner of things.
Many Americans feel like their student loan debt is going to follow them to their grave. That's not an unrealistic fear. In 2018, people over 50 owed a cumulative $260 billon-plus in student loan debt. Just 14 years earlier, that figure had been $36 billion.
You have $10,000 in credit card debt. If you pass away, does that debt simply go to your children? Are they obligated to pay?
One reason people sometimes give for not doing their estate planning is that they don't think their estate is complex enough. Maybe they don't have multiple homes or properties. They don't have complex investment portfolios. They don't want to use trusts or give to charity. They just assume that the assets they have should go to their heirs, and that's fairly straightforward.
Estate planning does not always have to mean putting money in a trust or writing out your assets in a will to give them away after you die. You may want to gift money to your heirs before you pass away.
Estate planning is always wise, and life is unpredictable. About 40,000 people die in car accidents every year, and none of them anticipated that happening at the beginning of the year. The goal of estate planning should always be to get it done in advance so that the plan is ready if something unfortunate and unexpected does happen.
There are many different types of businesses in the United States, and small businesses -- the most common type -- tend to fall into one of three broad categories. These are owner-dependent, multigenerational or marketable. Let's take a moment to consider the first two.
Estate planning is very important, as mistakes can have a negative impact on your family. Unfortunately, people still make some avoidable mistakes, often because they simply don't realize it at the time. To help you avoid this potential pitfall, let's look at one of the biggest mistakes: Failing to update the will.
One question that the court may ask when determining the validity of a will is if the person who did the estate planning possessed the testamentary capacity to do so. It's very important to understand what this means and how it can impact an estate plan.
Say that you want to set up a trust for a grandchild so that they can pay for their education. It's a wise use of your money, and creating that trust can be part of your estate planning.