Why make an estate plan?

Why make an estate planEstate plans are a way to provide protection to your family. Estate plans protect families after a member passes away. They can ensure that the family can continue to live in the same lifestyle as they have become accustomed to.

Four key areas of planning an estate are:

  1. Protecting your spouse
  2. Protecting non-spouse beneficiaries
  3. Preserving your business for the next generation
  4. Leaving a legacy

For most people, their spouse is their primary concern and it is very common to leave all of their assets to the spouse. Often, children and/or other loved ones will be the secondary beneficiaries.

If you are a surviving spouse, the estate plan may be need modifications so that the estate can be evenly distributed among the children. The surviving spouse also has the opportunity to plan to ensure that the assets are available on a long-term basis to protect them from being accessed by others, like creditors or a child’s estranged parent.

If an owner of a family business is planning an estate, he or she has several options to consider for leaving the business including whether or not to leave the business to a family member or to sell it to an interested buyer. Other options include the amount of profit from the business and the ability of other family members to successfully run the business. Often, it is true that the family would be most protected if the business is sold and the proceeds were invested.

It is very uncommon for people nowadays to die without any descendants; however, this does not prevent anyone from leaving a legacy. Many people get involved in volunteer work, which may lead to donating property or money. Charitable contributions can also be made in a will or trust. Unlike leaving money to family members, which will happen regardless of having a will or not, a charitable gift can only be given through a testamentary document.

So if you have been considering setting up necessary documents for your passing, contact The Gierach Law Firm for estate planning help. These experienced attorneys located in Naperville, Illinois, can help you ensure that your family is well taken care of after you are gone.