This is an article from Bott & Associates (bottestateplanning.com) in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, that we thought others may find helpful.
The holiday season is upon us! This is the time of year many people gather for family celebrations, reflect on the past year’s events, and prepare for the coming year. For many estate planning attorneys, it’s a busy time helping families review their financial and estate planning goals. By planning ahead, we reduce anxiety when a tragedy arises, giving your family peace of mind knowing your wishes are being looked after.
Setting up your estate plan is one of the most important things you can do this season for yourself and for your family. A Living Trust will transfer your estate to the people you care about most without the delays of probate. It also could save your family thousands of dollars in probate, attorney fees, court costs and taxes. Those dang attorneys!
So what happens after my Living Trust is created?
- Upon your death, your estate will transfer quickly to your family. The estate won’t be held up in probate court, which could last anywhere from 6 months to several long years.
- There will be no federal estate taxes if you’re married and your estate is worth less than $5,490,000.
- Your family won’t have to pay probate or attorney fees.
- You’ll avoid conservatorship if you become incapacitated.
So what happens if I don’t plan at all?
- Your family could be forced to wait months or even years while the probate courts prove ownership and transfer title of property.
- Your family may lose a substantial portion of your estate to probate fees, anywhere from 2% – 9%!
- Without proper tax planning, your family may owe federal estate taxes of 37%-55%!
- The court may assign a guardian to run your estate as the court sees fit, should you become incapacitated or unable to sign documents.
Probate is not always a pleasant experience. It can be expensive, lengthy and exposed to the public. Your family deserves better. Spare them a major headache by having the correct planning in place.