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Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Plan Your Estate!

Although it is not a favorite topic for anyone, there are a variety of excellent reasons to go ahead and get your estate planning settled. Even though it may not be something you want to think about, truly the wisest action is to go ahead and plan everything out before anything bad does happen.

Your Hampton Roads Estate Planning

I guarantee that you will find, once you have all your planning done, that a huge weight has been lifted. You will never again have to put off the thoughts and worry about "what if" and "what will happen", if you go ahead and plan out how things are divided, who gets what assets, and how your home value is liquidated for donation or family division. Are you still feeling a little squeamish about meeting with an estate planning attorney and creating an estate plan? Here are some of the top reasons to go ahead and just do it:

1. Avoiding Probate With Your Hampton Roads Estate

The most common reason that drives people to finally get their estate plan in place is to ensure those left behind don't have to face probate.  Probate can be costly, both in personal finances and in the loss of inheritance finances, for your loved ones.

Ensuring your spouse or children don't have to pay out of pocket to keep the treasured family hope chest, or pay high fees to take possesion of the home to want them to inherit,  then make sure that your Estate Plan is all set up and detailed with an attorney. Once it is done, all of you can rest easy, knowing exactly how things will go long and far before anything even happens.

2. Reduce Estate Taxes

Another great reason to go ahead and have your estate assets all planned out is to help you avoid estate taxes.  When you don't have an Estate Plan in place with a lawyer, then a major part of your estate will be lost to state and/or federal estate taxes or state inheritance taxes.  With the most basic plan in place, married couples can greatly reduce-and sometimes eliminate-their estate taxes all together.

AB Trusts or ABC Trusts as part of your will, or creating a revocable living trust, as well as a variety of advanced estate planning options, which your lawyer can advise you about-can be used to make the estate or inheritance tax bill less burdensome-or non-existent-for your loved ones. It would be a shame to have a beautiful Hampton Roads property to leave for your grandchildren towards college expenses, only to have over half of the property's value end up being taken in taxes.

3. Avoid The Mess Having No Plan Can Create For Your Virginia Estate

Many people hate to think about dying-especially as they age-and thus they put off getting their Hampton Roads property estate planning done. However, witnessing the mess created by NOT having a planned estate is one of the main reasons someone feels compelled to step up and just do it.

All it takes is seeing a close friend or business associate experience a significant waste of time and personal money due to a passed loved one's failure to have an estate plan in place. Sometimes the waste of time and money can be the least of problems created-not having a plan can even, sadly, tear families apart as the squabble and fight over inheritance.

4. Protect Your Hampton Roads Real Estate Beneficiaries

Need more motivation to get your Hampton Roads Estate Plan done? Two major reasons can be to:

  • Protect your minor beneficiaries from losing out on their intended inheritance from you
  • Protect your intended adult beneficiaries from making bad decisions, falling for outside influences, credit problems or divorcing spouses.

If you have a beneficiary in mind that is a minor, then all 50 states require that you must name a guardian or conservator to be appointed to oversee the minor's needed access to the finances left for them until they come of age.  To prevent family discord, costly legal expenses, or to make sure that no one with bad intentions gets appointed in charge of the minor's money, having a plan in place is key. Otherwise, your intended beneficiary may end up losing everything to a bad financial guardian, or simply lose it all to court battles against older family members that feel they deserved the money.

If your beneficiary is of adult age, which is 18 or 21 years of age depending on the state of legal residency of your beneficiary, then you can place restrictions on the types of uses your money can be accessed for-such as he or she could use it for school or buying a home of their own, but they can't just take it out of the estate account for a shopping spree. Or perhaps note that they can't touch any of the money until they reach a certain age or pay off their debts.  With the guidance of your attorney, you can create an estate plan that will protect the beneficiary from their own bad decisions, as well as those of others around them.

5. Protect Your Newport News/Hampton/Yorktown Assets From Creditors

Asset protection planning is one of the most important reasons to get your Hampton Roads, VA area Estate Planning done.  Once you know there is a lawsuit, or even suspect there might be one, it is too plate to get a plan in place to protect your assets.  However, if you start with a sound Estate Plan, coupled with a sound financial plan, you can protect your assets for the benefit of both you during your lifetime and your beneficiaries after your death.  Through the use of AB Trusts or ABC Trusts you can protect your spouse against any unforseen lawsuits that might come his or her way after your death. To protect other beneficiaries you will use one of the Lifetime Trusts, which your attorney can advise which type is best for your intentions and situation.

Plan Your Hampton Roads Estate Now

Convinced? Are you ready to settle down with all your finances and plan out your Newport News Estate? If you are, but don't quite know where to go or how to start, feel free to contact me, Diana Rondinelli, your expert Newport News Hampton Yorktown Williamsburg VA area real estate agent. I can direct you to the services of some excellent and highly praised local Estate Planing Attorneys that will ensure all your assets are properly taken care of for your loved ones.

Questions? Just Ask!

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