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Benefits of Estate Planning

It's surprising how many people and even wealthy individuals of a high-net-worth never get around to estate planning. Often times the reasons for delaying are because people think they are too young, they think they don't have enough assets or property, or they don't like to think about their own mortality. While estate planning may occur more to the baby boomers reaching retirement age or to wealthy individuals who want to protect their assets from potential lawsuits and liabilities, all adults with any measurable assets or with children should engage in estate planning sooner than later.

At the foundation of many estate plans is the will, but an estate plan goes far beyond the basic will. An estate plan can name an executor to settle an estate, it can name a successor trustee to take over after you die, it can name a guardian for you minor children should something happen to you, it can allow you to appoint someone to handle your finances and health care decisions if you become incapacitated, and it can include the following benefits:

  • Involve Medicaid planning so your life savings isn't wiped out by nursing home care or Medicaid recovery.
  • Establish a living will, which clearly explains what types of life-prolonging medical procedures you do not want.
  • Place assets into a trust so you can reduce the size of your taxable estate.
  • Arrange a trust for a special needs child without sacrificing his or her government benefits.
  • For business owners, establish a business succession plan.
  • You can be the trustee of a revocable living trust which you control during your lifetime.
  • Assets held in a trust avoid the probate process.
  • You can bequeath assets to friends, distant relatives or charities that wouldn't normally receive a penny in the absence of an estate plan.

By establishing a will or a trust, you have a voice in how you want your assets to be distributed, to whom and when you want them to receive it. Without an estate plan in place, when you die your assets will be distributed according to Mississippi's intestate succession laws, which are rigid and may not reflect your personal wishes. Such laws don't take into account the nature of your relationship with your beneficiaries, nor do they consider one family member's need over another's.

Estate planning is especially important if you are in a second or later marriage, if you've been divorced, if you have stepchildren, if you own a business, or if you have a large estate. To learn more about the benefits of an estate plan, please contact a Gulfport estate planning lawyer from Perry, Murr, Teel & Koenenn (PMTK) today – we look forward to meeting you in a free, no obligation consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning, Probate
Perry, Murr, Teel & Koenenn - Gulfport Probate Attorney
Located at 625 16th St, Gulfport, MS 39507
Phone: (228) 896-0020

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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Call for a Free Probate Consultation

(228) 285-0045