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Why You Need an Estate Plan Today

Why You Need an Estate Plan Today

March 05, 2024

Putting off an estate plan is a common, and potentially costly, mistake. Why leave your loved ones navigating legal complexities and emotional burdens when you can help ensure clarity and confidence instead? An estate attorney acts as your guide, crafting a plan that reflects your wishes in case of illness or death. Think of your plan as a roadmap: a will, power of attorney documents, and even trusts may come into play.

 After your plan is created, where do you put it? Ditch the safe deposit box! If you're incapacitated, accessing it becomes a frustrating puzzle for your loved ones. Even after your passing, they'll need to appoint an executor before gaining entry. Instead, consider these other options: a fire-proof safe at home (easily accessible to someone you trust who knows its location) or secure cloud-based vault (store encrypted digital copies for added convenience).

What happens upon your passing? The probate process kicks in. Probate is the legal validation of your estate plan and appoints the executor to manage your affairs. In Haywood County, your executor must find the will and death certificate, list and identify all assets, contact the Haywood County Clerk of Court (call (828) 454-6501, choose option 4, then option 1 for Estates, Wills and Guardianships), then leave a message requesting a callback to discuss the process.

Proactive estate planning can be especially crucial if you have a blended family, multiple properties, a family business, or significant wealth. Act today to help protect your loved ones and secure your legacy. Remember, legal advice tailored to your situation is paramount, so seek an expert's help. If you need an estate attorney recommendation, ask your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ or tax professional.

Wendolyn Forbes is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with Wealth Transition Finance, A Member of Advisory Services Network, LLC. Wendolyn is a fee-only financial planner and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

CFP Board owns the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the U.S.

This material is provided as a courtesy and for educational purposes only. Advisory Services Network, LLC does not provide tax advice. The tax information contained herein is general and is not exhaustive by nature. Federal and state laws are complex and constantly changing. Consult your own legal or tax professional for information concerning your individual situation.

Originally published in the March 2024 issue of Positively Haywood by Vicinitus.