Law Firm Newswire: It might not be something your children can pull out from under the tree and unwrap this holiday season, but the gift they may appreciate the most is the gift of asset protection.
“With family as the focus of so much attention during the holidays, it’s a natural time to consider their financial security,” said Brandon estate planning attorney Reginald Osenton. “No matter what age your children are, the time is never wrong to plan for the future.”
Even though most people tell their loved ones how they want their estate managed when they are gone, the only way to ensure it is done correctly is to put it in writing. “We put together plans for families so that when the time comes, everybody is taken care of exactly the way you want,” Osenton said.
A properly drafted estate plan with a qualified attorney will save your family money in the long run in future taxes, legal fees and other costs. It can truly be a holiday gift that will pay for itself.
Too many families are consumed by unnecessary stress and tension when it is time to divide an estate. Careful planning can eliminate all of the finger-pointing and he said, she said. “I have seen families fight over the smallest things. And it all could have been avoided if it had been planned out before hand,” Osenton said.
While a detailed will is the cornerstone of a good estate plan, health care issues can be handled before they arise as well. A power of attorney and a health care surrogate designation will let you determine now who will be making the decisions if you become incapacitated.
Estate plans also should include trusts to save taxes, minimize probate and plan for young children.
“There isn’t a more heartfelt gift to give your family at the holidays,” Osenton said. “A quality estate plan will put your family in good shape for years to come.”