When people hear the term estate planning, they sometimes think of it as something that only people of substantial means need to consider. This is incorrect, however, as most people would benefit from estate planning, regardless of their wealth or assets. If you do not have an estate plan and would like to hear more about how estate planning tools could help you and your family, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Corning-Painted Post estate planning attorney.
Estate Planning – Is It Only for the Wealthy?
While estate planning helps people with significant assets avoid certain tax penalties and protect their wealth, it is not only for the wealthy. Instead, anyone with any assets or property should consider drafting a will or using other estate planning documents to dictate how they would like their property to be distributed in the event of their death (such as a trust). If they fail to do so, their assets will be divided in accordance with the intestate laws of the state they live in, which may not reflect their wishes.
In addition to dictating how property should be divided, there are many benefits to estate planning. For example, people with minor children can include provisions in their wills stating who they would like to be named as guardians in the event they pass away before their children reach adulthood. Additionally, people can use estate planning tools to establish what care they would like to receive should they become incapacitated or who has the right to make important decisions on their behalf. Specifically, a person can grant another individual power of attorney to decide how their finances should be managed if they become debilitated and are unable to make such determinations on their own.
A person may also choose to designate an agent under a health care proxy, which grants them the right to decide what care they will receive if they lose the ability to make such decisions for themselves. If a person does not want to grant another party the right to determine what medical treatment they will undergo, they can draft a living will. Essentially, a living will is a document that sets forth what measures health care professionals should employ if a person becomes critically ill. For example, if they wish to receive life-support or resuscitation. They can also be used to express whether a person wishes to donate their organs.
While it is often overlooked, life insurance is another important estate planning tool that allows people to provide for their loved ones after their death. Life insurance is often available for a low cost and can be used to provide an immediate source of income for surviving family members.
Consult a Knowledgeable Corning Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning can benefit everyone, not just those who have ample assets, and it is smart for most people to consider creating a Revocable Living Trust or employing other estate planning documents. If you live in the Southern Tier and would like to learn how a Revocable Living Trust, Will or other estate planning documents will benefit you, Contact Roth Elder Law, PLLC at 607-962-6162 today for a consultation.