Who Needs Estate Planning?
EVERYONE! Regardless of your net worth, marital status, age, or gender. Estate planning allows you to plan for incapacity and death, thus avoiding the need for a conservatorship or probate, both of which are time-consuming, intrusive, and expensive.
By using various estate planning techniques, you can also reduce, to the largest extent possible, the taxes that will be due at your death. In addition, since the manner in which your assets may be distributed under your state’s intestacy laws (e.g., if you have not, at a minimum, executed a will) may bear no relation to the manner in which you want your assets to pass, it also affords you the opportunity to dictate to whom your assets will be distributed.
By properly planning your estate, your assets can pass to your designated beneficiaries in such a way as to be protected from the beneficiaries’ creditors, divorce proceedings, and may even avoid estate tax at their deaths (see the article on Generation Skipping for more information as to avoiding estate taxes in successive generations).
There are many other estate planning techniques designed to reduce or eliminate estate taxes and protect assets for future generations, as outlined in the other articles on our website.