Estate planning is the concept of planning a client’s estate to accomplish many different goals upon the client’s death. One of the primary advantages or benefits of estate planning is allowing the client to direct who will receive his or her property at death. Another advantage of estate planning is the client can select who will serve as the representative of his or her estate. Without an estate plan, State statutes make these decisions for the client by assuming the client’s desires.
There are several monetary advantages to having an estate plan. The primary monetary benefit of an estate plan is to save both federal and state estate taxes. If estate taxes will be due, the client can designate who will pay them. Another very important monetary advantage of an estate plan is to save administrative costs and time.
For example, the estate plan can dispense with surety bonds otherwise required by law. It can also streamline an estate administration by excusing the estate representative from having to follow many cumbersome procedures which would otherwise be required by law.
In addition, there are many ancillary benefits to an estate plan. The client can designate who will act for the client in the event the client is incapacitated. He or she can also direct no life sustaining treatment will be administered to the client if it would only prolong the process of dying. The client can name guardians of minors as well as protect assets from being lost by those children or heirs who have difficulty managing money.
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