Comparing Your Estate Planning Options

Estate Planning

Comparing Your Estate Planning Options

Posted by COTO Insurance & Financial Services
6 years ago | November 12, 2018

Although you might not think of it this way, estate planning is an important part of retirement planning. Over your lifetime, you have accumulated assets to help you sustain yourself through your retirement years. And, you might be hoping to leave some of those assets to your loved ones someday. In order to make that happen, and ensure that your wishes are followed to the letter, you will need an estate plan.

Why an estate plan? Some people wonder why they really need an estate plan. After all, doesn’t the law set forth rules governing inheritance? Won’t these issues be subject to fair and impartial court proceedings, anyway? Couldn’t you just share your wishes with your loved ones, whom you trust, or express them in writing?

Yes, the law does provide guidelines regarding rules of inheritance. If you pass away without an estate plan in place, your property would proceed through probate court and be divided amongst your heirs according to those rules. But there are a few potential problems with this process:

  1. Probate court takes time – often more than one year – and your heirs won’t receive your assets until the process is completed
  2. Probate court is subject to public record, so anyone could investigate your loved ones and discover details on their inheritance
  3. Probate court proceedings can be expensive, and sometimes stressful
  4. Your property will be divided according to the law, but perhaps not the way you would have wanted
  5. Handwritten wills are easily challenged, and often overturned
  6. Even with a Will properly drafted by an attorney, your estate will pass through probate court

You have other options. If you hope to bypass probate court, and allow your heirs to immediately receive their inheritance upon your death, you have the option to create a trust. There are certain other tax advantages sometimes conferred by a trust, so you should consult with an estate planning professional in order to decide if this option is right for you.

As we work together to create your retirement plan, let’s also discuss your estate plan. We can help you ensure that everything is in order, so that your assets will be passed along according to your wishes.

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