With large estate tax exemptions (in excess of $12 million) some suggest estate planning is no longer matters. Since estate planning was never just about estate taxes this is false. In fact, estate planning is more important now than ever. Here are several reasons why:
Estate planning protects your family and beneficiaries.
Normal people care about their families. They care about their spouse, kids, grandchildren and other family members. Protecting family from risk, expense, probate, predators, creditors and taxes has always driven estate planning. When you drop estate taxes from that list, there are still many risks to protect against.
Where clients have no family they seek to protect their causes and charities. In over 45 years of being an estate planning attorney, I have never had a client who asked to give their estate to the government.
Estate planning protects you.
Any proper estate plan contains protections for you. Whether in a trust, financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney, HIPAA authorization or final disposition instruction, it is you being protected. The wisdom of this is unaffected by tax exemptions and has increased as a result of the pandemic.
Estate planning protects your voice.
Your estate plan speaks for you. It represents how you want to be treated during illness, incapacity and your death. Your plan is your voice protecting your loved ones to the extent you deem appropriate.
Your estate plan represents your voice in legal form, making sure that what you want to happen does. Your plan cannot vote for you but does speak for you in other respects.
Proper estate planning will always matter.
The discussion above shows the importance of estate planning in 2022 and beyond. Here is how we describe it to clients: if you or your family are important than you protect them and yourself with an estate plan.
Note: this article is general information about estate planning. Every client's estate plan is different. Reading this article does not make you a client of our firm. To learn about estate planning or how to become a client of our firm, call 303-688-3535 for further information.