Many people put off estate planning for years. There always seems to be a good reason to put it off. At first some people think they are too young to have an estate plan or that they do not have enough assets. In later years, time is limited with new jobs, young children and household duties. Before we know it, we are in our 40s and 50s and still lacking an estate plan. At this point our children may be into their adulthood and the need for an estate plan once again seems unnecessary, but is it?
The goal of a comprehensive estate plan should be to properly allocate your assets in such a manner as to allow distribution to your heirs according to your wishes. One component is wealth preservation. This element works to prevent unforeseen or inadvertent tax burdens from eroding a decedent's estate.
Losing a loved one can be enormously upsetting. People often feel lost and grief-stricken, particularly if the death was sudden or unexpected. In these situations, loved ones can wind up at odds over what should happen to the person’s estate. This can happen even if there is a will in place, as there may be reason to question the accuracy and/or validity of the will.
Estate planning can be especially problematic for some families who are dealing with a child suffering from an addiction. Whether due to alcohol or drugs, the presence of an individual with an addiction can make the reality of estate planning even more off-putting for many people. They know they will have to confront a situation they may prefer to avoid. They may be worried that a child suffering from an addiction could waste assets, or worse, spend them on feeding their habit.
One of the more challenging areas of estate planning law today concerns digital assets. Many people have music libraries that consist of thousands of songs. Some may own electronic versions of books, used on devices like the Kindle or Nook. While these technologies are relatively new, these items, along with iTunes' catalogs are likely to grow over time and may at some point replace many tangible assets like books, CDs and records.