Planning for Life
By Kyle A. Krasa, Esq.
Who Needs Estate Planning?
The other day I ran into an old family friend in a local drug store. She had heard that I was an Estate Planning attorney and she said to me, “When I get an Estate, I’ll give you a call.” This is a common reaction to the term, “Estate.” The term conjures images of Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, large lawns and stately mansions. The truth is that the term, “Estate,” is just a fancy word for all the assets you own such as your house, cars, bank accounts, retirement plans, and life insurance. Everybody has an “Estate.” Some “Estates” are worth billions of dollars while other “Estates” are only worth a few hundred dollars. So, who needs “Estate Planning”?
Whether your Estate is large or small, everybody needs Estate Planning. You want to be able to designate someone to manage your assets and make health care and personal care decisions for you if you ever become unable to do so for yourself.
You also want to be able to plan on who will receive your assets after your death and who should carry out those wishes for you after you pass away. Depending on the size of your Estate, you may also want to plan on reducing or eliminating unnecessary taxes, such as the federal Estate Tax.
If you fail to plan ahead, a judge will simply appoint someone to handle your assets and personal care through a process known as Probate. Contrary to popular myth, everything does not automatically go to the state if you die without a plan. Your relatives, no matter how remote, will likely inherit from you. However, an estate plan gives you much greater control.
Regardless of the size of your Estate, there is an Estate Plan for everybody’s circumstances.
KRASA LAW is located at 704-D Forest Ave., PG and Kyle can be reached at 831-621-7375.