The recent coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in estate planning requests. It is tempting to update or put together an estate plan with a do-it-yourself or fill in the blank option. In some cases, this format may work. Those who are relatively young, do not have children and have minimal assets may benefit from this format.
However, the following are examples of two groups that would do better with an estate plan professionally prepared and tailored to their individual needs.
Group #1: Parents.
Those with children will likely need to set up a guardianship and potentially use trusts to help guide the distribution of assets. A guardianship is used to help determine who will raise the children and a trust can be used to slowly provide assets to either aid in raising the children or to transfer wealth to the children when the are older.
Without this legal tool, children could reach the age of 18 and find themselves getting a large inheritance without any guidance on how to make good financial decisions.
Group #2: Those with large assets.
Those who own one or more pieces of real estate as well as retirement accounts or a large financial portfolio are also wise to consider a professionally drafted estate plan. A professional can help in many ways, including a discussion about possible tax implications and ways to reduce the estate’s tax obligations.
These are just a few groups that would benefit from a professional plan. Other can include those with a loved one with special needs, own assets in other countries and wish to avoid probate.