We all go through life with the knowledge that death is inevitable, but it can be uncomfortable for us to think about what happens after we die, as a result, many of us delay putting a plan in place for the distribution of our assets.
If proper planning isn’t done before you pass away, what you may leave behind is a distribution that is carried our far differently than what you may have intended or expected. Problems such as extra administration costs, taxes or fighting amongst your heirs all can result from postponing estate planning until it is too late.
Regardless of how small your estate is, planning is very important. By planning, you ensure that your legacy goes to exactly who you intend and in any way you decide upon. Also, planning allows you to save on the costs of attorneys, going to court, and taxes.
The most important estate planning instruments are durable power of attorney and your will. All estate planning should include at least those two things. A durable power of attorney is an instrument set up to manage your property while you’re still living, should you ever become incapacitated. Your will is designed to cover the management and distribution of your property in the event of your death. Many West Virginians die without wills, creating months of paperwork and stress for their loved ones.
Planning can be a challenging process without the right tools. It can be especially challenging if certain factors are in play, such as having children from different marriages. If you have questions about estate planning or are ready to set up your plan, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.