Thinking about end-of-life matters is not exactly enjoyable, and many Lake Charles residents avoid this uncomfortable topic altogether. This can be devastating for not only a person's estate, but also for the family who is left behind without any clear guidance on their loved one's wishes. Avoiding estate planning can also cause taxes and fees to eat up assets that might have otherwise been distributed to heirs.
Even if individuals claims that they do not particularly care what happens to their assets after their death, there is a good chance that their surviving loved ones care a great deal. Creating a will with clear instructions can help avoid any potential fighting amongst heirs. It also takes the stress off of the executor -- the person charged with managing and distributing the assets.
Proper estate planning can also help cut down on hefty fees associated with handling an estate. Probate often tacks on a fee to the process, while both state and federal estate tax laws may apply, although the latter is typically tied to the value of an estate and its assets. These extra costs add up quickly.
Creating a comprehensive estate plan is not all about what happens after death, either. Many people utilize this process to protect their assets during their end-of-life care. By placing safeguards around certain assets and specifying how care should be handled, individuals can feel assured that they will not run aground before their death.
The benefits of estate planning greatly outweigh the uncomfortable feeling that many people in Lake Charles experience when talking about death. By creating a comprehensive estate plan, people can be certain that their assets will be respected and distributed according to their wishes. Perhaps best of all, they can alleviate some of the burden for their family.
Source: Forbes, "The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning", Joel Johnson, May 21, 2018