It’s easy to postpone estate planning, but if you want to protect loved ones and ensure their financial security long after you are gone, it’s essential to plan for all possible eventualities. Even if you are in perfect health today, there is no way to predict what tomorrow might bring. Fortunately for surviving family members, life’s unpredictability is enough for most people to sit down and draft a will. If you haven’t done so yet, accountants state that you should do so for the following reasons.
3 Major Benefits of Estate Planning
1. Maintaining Your Family’s Privacy
If you pass without a will, the laws of intestate succession will apply. That means all applicable assets will have to go through probate before beneficiaries can access them. Since probate proceedings are public record, anyone can view the documents detailing the family’s financial situation in the wake of your death. By including arrangements like trusts in your estate plan, which effectively bypass probate, you can protect everyone’s privacy.
2. Reducing Your Family’s Tax Burden
Larger estates can leave beneficiaries with hefty tax obligations, which means they will get much less than anticipated. If your estate will impose a substantial tax burden on loved ones, an accountant can help you mitigate such expenses by implementing various financial strategies.
3. Supporting Your Favorite Charities
When individuals die without a will, their blood relatives typically get everything under the laws of intestate succession. Therefore, the only way to leave any money to charity is by including the request in a will. If there is at least one cause you are especially passionate about, creating a comprehensive estate plan will ensure they get some portion of your remaining funds.
If you’re ready to start estate planning and need help inventorying your assets, turn to an accountant at Schechter Dokken Kanter, CPA. Based in Minneapolis, this accounting firm is proud to help clients throughout the Twin Cities maintain their financial footing. Their comprehensive services include tax return preparation, business consulting, and retirement planning. Visit their website for directions to their office, or call (612) 332-5500 to make an appointment with an accountant today.