Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not only for the wealthy. No matter your financial standing or situation, your family will have an easier time dealing with your passing if there are plans in place regarding your assets. Proper planning also ensures that you’ve done what you can to take care of them after you’re gone.
If you remain unconvinced about the benefits of estate planning, read on. We have compiled this list of ways your loved ones could benefit from a well-planned Last Will and Testament. With no further ado, here are these benefits:
1) It Prevents Unintended Inheritors
If you die without a will, the state will decide who your beneficiaries are. In Alberta, your assets will be subject to the Wills and Succession Act. As such, your properties ending up in the wrong hands is a possibility.
2) It Reduces the Estate Tax
In the event of your death, whether expected or not, you are certain to want as much of your assets as possible to end up with those you left behind. With proper estate planning, however, you can set up trusts or joint partner trusts, thereby exempting them from estate taxes.
There are also some legal workarounds your estate lawyer might be aware of that can lighten the burden of these taxes.
3) It Provides Added Protection to Young Inheritors
It is understandable that a parent would be worried about their children, especially if they’re still young and unable to support themselves. No matter your circumstances, you can ensure that your children are cared for by planning your estate.
A guardian can be appointed for them in case you die before they turn 18. It is also fully possible to place funds in a trust to be used only for certain purposes and by certain people, depending on what you stipulate. If you die without a plan, however, it is up to the state to decide who will end up taking care of your children.
4) It Helps You Avoid Probate
Probate is the court-enforced process of verifying your will, estimating the value of your estate, and using that to pay off any unpaid taxes and bills. Part of this process is also distributing your remaining assets to the court-decided inheritors.
Lawyers warn against this process, as it is tedious and time-consuming for the beneficiaries. It is unnecessarily difficult, and can easily be avoided with proper planning.
5) It Helps You Avoid Disputes
Family disputes often occur during the distribution of property. It is not unheard of for conflicts to sprout up in the wake of the loss of a loved one, and for these disputes to become so heated that family members and loved ones can have a falling out.
The way to deal with this is meticulous planning. For example, dividing the ownership of your family home among your children is something they might fight over, especially if some want to keep the house and others would prefer to sell it. You can, however, provide an alternative where some children retain ownership while receiving a smaller share of your financial disbursements while those who want to sell receive a larger share of your financial wealth.
In essence, you would be providing an option for your children to buy each other out, reducing the work they need to do.
Your family and loved ones would already be dealing with the intense tragedy of your demise. Not only that, but the complex feelings surrounding the division of your estate might cause conflicts to sprout and leave a lot of unnecessary harm in its path. With proper estate planning, on the other hand, you could save your family the trouble and remind them that, even in death, you did what you could to take care of them.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to help with estate planning in Alberta, send us at Alberta Wealth Management a message. We are a one-stop financial services company that is fully dedicated to making life easier for you and your family.