Maximize your HSA e-Newsletter
Vol. 15, Issue 3
5 Reasons an Estate Plan is Vital Today
It is never too early to craft an estate plan to ensure that those closest to you are cared for upon your passing and that your assets are distributed as you wish. If you die without a will, your estate will be subject to state law and the will of the courts.
For example, if you do not have a will, who gets first grab at your estate? Most people believe it is their spouse, but that is not entirely accurate. The first in line is actually your creditors. Your family then gets whatever is left over, and that fight sometimes gets ugly. This is perhaps the most important reason to have an estate plan in place.
In this article, I will discuss the five main reasons why you don’t want to delay when it comes to creating your will or estate plan. This encompasses Step 6 of our Financial Protection Program.
1. It Will Assist Dividing Your Wealth as You See Fit
In many states, financial accounts and real estate without a designated heir will be divided as the state sees fit. This means your family members could miss out on property you intended them to have. So, use your will to clearly indicate what you want going to whom.
2. An Estate Plan Can Reduce Transfer Taxes
Families who have amassed wealth will find the IRS waiting when it comes time to transfer property. If you have substantial assets, an estate plan will help you strategize how assets can be divided in a manner that lessens taxes owed.
3. You Can Designate What Charities You Want to Support
After you pass away, you may wish to have some of your property or money transferred to trusts or charitable organizations you are passionate about. An estate plan can help you meet your donation goals by specifying how much money and assets will be transferred to each beneficiary.
4. It Can Protect the Wealth of Future Generations
If you have enough wealth to last more than one generation, an estate plan may also help that wealth last into the future. Preserving wealth and family values for future generations is a wonderful privilege.
5. An Estate Plan Can Shield Your Assets from Frivolous Lawsuits and Legal Challenges
It is not uncommon for baseless lawsuits to happen when family members or even distant relatives fight over an inheritance. An estate planning attorney can help you use tools like irrevocable trusts, limited liability companies, or other legal structures to protect yourself from this kind of legal issues.
Failing to Plan Could Be Costly
States have specific algorithms for dividing assets in the case of no will. If you want finances to be divided based on your wishes, you should think about setting up your estate while you are healthy and living well.
To learn more about living wills and legacy planning, and other parts of our highly regarded Financial Protection Plan, contact your personal benefits manager (PBM) today or call us toll-free at 1-800-913-0172 to discuss your options.
To your health and wealth,
Wiley P. Long III
President – HSA for America
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