Do I Own Enough Things to Need and Estate Plan?

So, you don’t have a lot of property or assets.  Many people incorrectly believe that the need for an estate plan revolves around having lots of money or owning lots of property.  This is an understandable misconception.  A will or other estate planning documents can be used to handle and reduce taxes for large estates.  For individuals who wish to avoid paying taxes on the value of their estates above $5 million for single individuals and $10 million for married individuals, estate planning is a must.

Now, I’ll answer the initial question.  Do small estates need estate planning?   The answer is usually yes.  Estate planning entails much more than just the property you own.  Estate planning is more than just a pile of legal documents.  It is a plan to protect your family, to distribute your assets, and to handle your affairs at the time you pass away or in the event of an unfortunate situation in which you are rendered mentally or physically incompetent.

Here is just an overview of the many aspects of your life that you will want to address in your estate plan, regardless of the value of your estate or the amount of property you own:

  1. How your assets are distributed at death?
  2. Who will be in charge or giving your assets to the people you choose?
  3. Who will handle all of your affairs, business or personal, at your death?
  4. Who will make decisions for me in the event I suffer and accident or disease that causes me to lose physical or mental capacity?
  5. Who will be guardian of my minor children if another parent is not alive or capable?
  6. Who will hold any property that I leave to my minor children?
  7. Who will handle my remains at the time of death?
  8. Will I be buried with a funeral or cremated. If cremated who will hold my remains and where will they be stored?
These simple questions go far beyond the scope of simply worrying about protecting your estate against additional taxes.  They also illustrate the point that an estate plan is as important for small estates as for large estates.
Get started planning your estate today.  Visit
Jason M. Gordon

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