If you do not have an estate plan in place, you should contact a Burlington estate planning attorney as soon as possible. You should also get legal help if you have a plan in place but it has not been updated and it no longer reflects your wishes. Getting legal help to update your estate plan is important because there can be serious consequences to waiting.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC provides comprehensive assistance with the estate planning process. We can help you to define your goals and take the necessary steps to protect your legacy and provide for your loved ones. Give us a call so we can work with you to put your plan in place before it is too late.
What Happens if You Wait too Long to Create an Estate Plan?
Creating an estate plan must be done when you are still of sound mind. If you wait too long to create an estate plan, something unexpected could happen to you. You could become physically or mentally ill, or you could become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes. This could happen to anyone, even young people, as unexpected accidents and medical emergencies happen all the time.
If you have waited too long and not created an estate plan before something happens, it will be too late for you to go back and make your wishes known. You will not be able to control who will inherit after you pass away. Vermont intestacy laws will dictate what happens to your property. This means that you may not be able to divide your money and your assets in the way that you would have preferred to. Your relatives will inherit, but you may not be able to give property to the people you wanted to or be able to give money to charitable causes which you hoped to support.
If you wait too long to create an estate plan, you could also end up leaving a legacy of family fighting. Your loved ones may not agree on who you would have wanted to inherit family heirlooms or may not agree on what should happen to the family business or the family home. Since you have left no instructions, your family won’t have guidance and could just end up disagreeing and having their relationships spoiled at a time when they should be coming together.
Finally, if you wait too long to create an estate plan, you can do nothing to preserve and protect the value of your assets. If your heirs are irresponsible with money or get divorced, the wealth you built could be lost. If you had made a plan in advance, you could potentially have prevented this from occurring. A good portion of your estate could also be lost due to estate taxes if your estate is large enough and you have not made any plans to try to reduce taxation triggered upon your death.
What Should be Included in Your Estate Plan?
If you want to make sure you protect your assets, family, and legacy, you should contact a Burlington estate planning attorney as soon as you can before it is too late to make your plan. Your attorney can assist you in customizing the plan to provide you with the benefits you expect and to make sure you can take care of your family the way you want to.
The simplest estate plan contains only a will, and your lawyer can help you to make a will that is legally valid and that will be enforced under Vermont’s law. There may also be many other things you can do, including structuring assets with joint ownership so they pass outside of probate and creating trusts to protect your assets both during your life and after your death. You want the opportunity to take full advantage of all tools available under Vermont’s law which are designed to give you control over your legacy, so you should not wait too long to talk with a lawyer about estate planning.
Contact a Burlington Estate Planning Attorney
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC provides assistance to people young and old with creating and updating estate plans. We will assist you in protecting your assets, protecting your legacy, and ensuring your wishes are respected at the end of your life or after your death.
You can join us for a free seminar to discover more about what should be in your estate plan. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to learn more about how we can create a plan to accomplish your goals.