The estate planning process allows a person to financially prepare for their passing. Without a commitment to the estate planning process, your wealth can become the subject of legal action by family members and state organizations. This is a lesson we can take from the recent passing of Prince in April of this year. Prince never crafted a clear estate plan and as such, his family members have begun court proceedings to gain access to his wealth.
In this latest post, we’ll take a look at how you can avoid the mistakes Prince has made and create a comprehensive estate plan that protects your wealth for future generations.
Create an Estate Plan at the Earliest Opportunity
It’s never too early to begin planning for the future. You have built your wealth through hard work and financial prudence, and it’s important that you control how the wealth is distributed after your passing. If you wish to allocate your finances to exclude a certain person in your family or to include a friend outside the family, you will have to create an estate plan that clearly outlines your intentions.
Estate Plans Can Help Eliminate Inheritance and Estate Taxes
Without a prudent estate plan in place, your wealth may be subject to further estate and inheritance taxes. This can limit the value of the assets passed on to your loved ones. Working with a specialist in probate law can help you build a plan that protects the asset against these additional tax burdens, and ensure the value of the estate is maximized.
Estates without an Estate Plan are Subject to Contest by Anyone
One important lesson to take home from Prince’s death is that access to the wealth from estates can be contested by any person with a connection to you. Many families have been shocked to find their loved one’s estate being accessed by former business partners and past spouses, thereby limiting the assets passed on to current family members and loved ones. Building an estate plan sets a clear plan for the transfer of the estate and the destination of all wealth.
Ensure the Estate Plan Includes Bank Accounts and Insurance Policy Information
One critical mistake many make is not including their banking details within their estate plan. While court documents might prove that you wish to transfer your wealth to specific individuals after death, the bank might not have access to the same information. Ensure your bank is in the loop on all estate planning processes and make sure you fill out beneficiary forms that include POD (Payment on Death) details to highlight your chosen destination for any bank funds.
By understanding the estate planning process and working with a legal specialist to begin on your estate plan, you will avoid many of the mistakes others have made. Learn more about how to craft a refined estate plan with our legal experts today.