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Why do I need an Estate Plan?

Written by Attorney Cassie Tostenson of Brudvik Law Office, P.C.

Often times people avoid putting together an estate plan for a variety of reasons. By taking the time and effort necessary to plan your estate, you will be able to reduce the stress and cost on those that have to make decisions when you are gone or incapacitated. A well-organized estate plan can accomplish many goals, some of which can include:

  • Providing for your minor children. Those families with children under 18 years of age should have an estate plan that nominates guardians to provide for the care of your children until they reach the age of majority. Trusts can also be created to assure that your assets are used for the benefit of your children. Without an estate plan, the court will decide who will care and provide for your children without your input.
  • Minimize Expense by distributing property to beneficiaries. An estate plan can include lifetime gifting, beneficiary designations on insurance proceeds or accounts as well as moving property to joint ownership. By planning ahead, you can reduce the time and cost of transferring your assets after you die.
  • Planning for incapacity. People often think an estate plan is really just a will but a will is only operable at your death. During your lifetime you can avoid the time, stress and expense of asking a court to put in place a guardian or conservator in the event you can no longer manage your affairs. This can be avoided by appointing individuals to serve as a power of attorney or health care agents through proper planning.
  • Business continuity. If you have an interest in a business or farm, you can plan how your business of farm will operate in the future with proper succession planning.
  • Reduce Stress of your family. Through a well-organized estate plan you can reduce the burden on your family by appointing personal representatives or trustees to simplify the administration of your estate. You can also detail your final wishes and funeral arrangements.

An estate plan allows you to provide for your family, reduce costs in the long run, and most importantly minimize the burden of your loss on your family. Creating a properly crafted estate plan is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Contact Brudvik Law Office online or at 701-786-6177 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Estate Planning Attorney.

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