Image of a couple signing a will

Make Estate Planning a Goal for the New Year.

It’s the beginning of a new year. Many people view the start of a new year as an opportunity to make changes or pledge to finish key tasks. New Year’s resolutions are made by at least 45 percent of Americans. According to Statistics Brain, the most common resolution is to lose weight. The second most popular activity is getting organized. Americans who wish to order their lives in 2017 should think about estate planning. Estate planning can aid in the analysis of one’s current financial condition and the organization of one’s assets so that they are allocated effectively after death.

A will is a standard aspect of estate planning. According to Legal-Lookout, more than half of all Americans do not have a will. People who want to plan their lives in 2017 should consider writing a will.

There is no way to ensure that a person’s possessions are dispersed to their loved ones according to their wishes without a will. When a resident of Pennsylvania dies without a will, the state decides what happens to their children, money, and assets. Assets aren’t merely passed down through the generations. Even if there is a surviving spouse, the inheritance is split among live relatives.

Working with an estate planning attorney to draft a will might require a person to arrange their estate and make plans for their loved ones’ future well-being. A will can ensure that debts are paid and that remaining assets are preserved and distributed to loved ones according to the wishes of the testator.

A trust can be created by someone who already has a will and wants to take estate planning to the next level. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that permits a third party (trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary, according to Fidelity. When it comes to setting up a trust, estate planners have a variety of options. One can define how and when his or her assets will be given to beneficiaries, as well as how and when the money will be spent.

Beneficiaries of trusts can get their inheritance more quickly than beneficiaries of wills. The probate process does not apply to trusts. Establishing a trust has another benefit in addition to the rapid transfer process. Because trusts are not subject to probate, establishing one can save time and money for the heirs while also reducing estate taxes. A trust, according to Fidelity, can also protect the assets in question from creditors or beneficiaries claiming the estate.

Many people fail to plan for the future because they are unaware of the measures available to safeguard their possessions. Others put off estate planning until later because they believe they will have more time. Death, on the other hand, comes as a shock. Nobody knows how long they have left to live. Use this time of new beginnings to start planning for your family’s future while everyone else is making and breaking New Year’s resolutions. Make planning for your estate one of your New Year’s resolutions. To explore your will and other estate planning alternatives, contact a Pennsylvania estate lawyer.

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