For many people, planning for a time that they may not be present to love, support, and protect their family can be difficult. You work your whole life to ensure your family was safe and financially secure, and you want the same for them after you pass away.
Many people assume estate planning is only for the super-wealthy, but estate planning is a way for people of even modest incomes to ensure their surviving family is taken care of.
At Winder & Counsel, our estate planning attorneys can help you plan for the future, whether you are drafting your first will, updating your current estate plan, creating an appropriate trust, or simply exploring your best options. Our firm can also assist families who have lost a loved one without a will. Our goal is to help you leave your mark on the people and places you cherish most in an informative, supportive setting. Keep reading to learn more about estate planning and our personalized services.
What Is Estate Planning, and Why Do I Need It?
Estate planning can become very complicated, but in its simplest form, estate planning helps you:
- Guarantee that you and your family will be financially secure in the event of your incapacitation or death
- Ensure that your assets are given to the people, organizations, and causes that you care for most
- Carry out your wishes without unnecessary taxation or litigation
Carefully crafted estate plans can protect your assets from costly tax liabilities after your death, and can also help ensure your wishes are carried out to your exact specifications.
Without an estate plan in place, your assets will be distributed as the legislature and a probate judge sees fit after your death, which will usually involve settling your debts first and distributing the remaining assets to your legal heirs. These proceedings can be lengthy and expensive, draining the estate you worked your entire life to build. Take control of your future by enlisting the advice of an estate planning professional.
Wills Versus Trusts: Which Is Right for You?
Wills and trusts are both important instruments of estate planning, and can be used both separately or together with each other to best serve you and your estate.
A will is a document that specifies how your property and assets in your name only will be distributed upon your death, and appoints someone to carry out your wishes. It goes into effect at the time of your death, and must go through probate proceedings to ensure that the will is valid and is administered in the manner you intended. While probate proceedings are among the quickest in the country, the process can still take considerable time and money. A will also allows you to name guardians for your minor children, as well as detail specific funeral and burial wishes.
A trust becomes effective as soon as you create it, and can distribute your property at a time of your choosing, even before your death. A trust is an arrangement between a trustee and beneficiaries, wherein the trustee holds legal title to properties for the beneficiaries. Only property transferred into the trust is managed by the trust, so careful planning and updating is required to ensure that your trust is effective. Trusts can help your family avoid probate, as well as carefully control your assets after you are gone, such as earmarking money for education.
For Security and Peace of Mind, Seek Winder & Counsel for Your Estate Planning Needs
At Winder & Counsel, we will work closely with you and your family to create a tailor-made estate plan that works for you. Your family’s future is important to you, and it is important to our attorneys, as well. Help protect the people you love and the assets you have earned with Winder & Counsel; call our office today at 801-322-2222.