You don’t have to be a millionaire to benefit from an estate plan. If you own a home, have minor children, have grown children in their own marriages, have been divorced, own a business or expect to receive an inheritance of your own, you can definitely benefit by drafting a living trust, will, powers of attorney and livings wills.

Here are 8 of the biggest reasons you need an estate plan:

1. Designate who will manage your affairs if you become disabled and when you pass away. If you don’t, the court will decide for you after much expense and time. Keep control of your own destiny.
2. Plan for Medicaid and its impact on your estate if you must go into a nursing home. Nursing homes today can cost as much as $120,000 per year or more and a significant stay can easily impoverish all but the wealthiest families. With proper planning, you can shelter assets and keep your family’s wealth intact.
3. Avoid probate, during your lifetime and when you pass away. Do you want the court controlling you or your assets? Probate proceedings are public, expensive, time-consuming and should be avoided whenever possible. Leave your money to your heirs privately and efficiently by establishing a proper estate plan.
4. Protect children from a prior marriage if you pass away first. Second marriage planning can be complex and tricky. Expert legal guidance is necessary to ensure your assets are preserved and your children from your first marriage receive the inheritance you intend for them.
5. Protect assets inherited by your heirs from lawsuits, divorces and other claims. Make sure your assets are inherited by your loved ones, not the people you don’t want to receive them, such as ex-spouses, in-laws, creditors or the IRS.
6. Provide for special needs children and grandchildren. The loss of governmental benefits can wipe out your estate. Special considerations and planning is necessary to avoid the loss of governmental benefits.
7. Prevent or discourage challenges to your estate plan. Revocable living trusts make it more difficult for objections when you are no longer around to speak for yourself.
8. Address the different needs of your children. No two children are alike. Customized estate planning can assure that each child’s personal needs are addressed in the manner you deem best.

Randolph D. Wolfson, Esq. is an estate planning and business attorney.  He is the founder of Insight Estate Planning Excellence, PLLC which has offices in Sun City, Arizona He can be reached at (602)357-3456.. Visit his website at www.insightepe.com.

The information expressed herein should not be construed by the reader to be legal advice, nor relied upon as legal advice, as it is solely for informational purposes.