LegalJourney Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Without an Estate Plan, You and Your Heirs Could Have Big Problems

How important is an estate plan?

It can be easy to put off something like estate planning.  After all, few among us wish to consider the eventuality of our own deaths.  However, if tragedy strikes and you are not prepared, it is your heirs that may suffer. More than half of all Americans today do not have even a will in place.  Without a will, a state court will be forced to make decisions concerning who gets your assets and, if you have minor children, who will care for them.  For most of us, not having control over something as important as a guardian for our children or who gets our hard earned money and property is a significant problem. 

Basic Estate Planning Can Protect Your Heirs and Your Legacy

The good news is that even a simple estate plan can give you the peace of mind that your loved ones will be protected if you die.  A licensed estate planning attorney can help you to create an estate plan that accomplishes your wishes and protects your heirs.  Your estate plan will often include a will.  In a will, you can direct who your assets will go to, including unmarried partners, charities, or others.  You can also name a guardian for your minor children.

Another important estate planning step is reviewing the beneficiaries listed on your individual retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and 401(k) plans.  If you have recently married, remarried, had a child, or experienced another type of milestone, it is critical that you update these documents to name your desired beneficiary.  Without a named beneficiary, the assets in these accounts will automatically go into probate, which could take time and eat into your funds that would otherwise have gone towards your beneficiaries.

Estate planning is an important process for everyone, not just the wealthy or the elderly.  By creating an estate plan, you will ensure your heirs are cared for when you die and your assets go to those intended.


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Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL



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