When it comes to creating an estate plan, most people typically think of a will. While it is possible to leave your estate to someone in your will, it is far from ideal.
Reason #1 Why You Need More Than A Will: A Will Does Not Avoid Probate
Upon your death, all assets passed through a will must first go through the court process known as probate. The cost, time, and complexity involved when the court makes decisions about your assets is completely unnecessary. During probate, the court oversees your will’s administration to ensure your assets (including your business) are distributed according to your wishes. But probate can take years to complete and it can be quite expensive. Probate attorneys are paid a percentage of the estate’s total value, which can be ten times more than the cost of preparing an estate plan. Probate is a public process, where a person’s assets, debts, creditors, heirs, and beneficiaries, are all public record. This can be an especially dangerous issueEs if you have a business. Because the business affairs or proprietary information could be accessible to your competitors.
Reason #2 Why You Need More Than A Will: A Will Does Not Protect You During Incapacity
A will only goes into effect upon your death, so it would not protect your assets or business should you become incapacitated by illness or injury before your death. In fact, if you only have a will in place (or have no estate plan at all), in the event of your incapacity, your family would have to petition the court for guardianship in order to manage your finances, including your business, as well as your other personal affairs.
When it comes to your legacy, your assets, and defining your future, you need the experienced estate planning attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde, LLP.
To schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session, please call (714) 997-7870, or click here to contact CKLH by email.