This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.
“I don’t have a large estate. Do I still need to do estate planning?”
A potential new Nashua area estate planning client posed this question at our initial consultation. Most estate planning attorneys in New Hampshire have been asked this type of question over the years. While no one likes to contemplate their own demise, if you postpone estate planning until it is too late, you run the risk that your intended beneficiaries — those you care about the most — may not receive what you would want them to receive whether due to extra administration costs, unnecessary taxes or squabbling among your heirs.
This is why estate planning is so important, no matter how small your estate may be. It allows you, while you are still living, to safeguard your legacy and to ensure that your property will go to the people you want, in the way you want, and when you want. It permits you to save as much as possible on taxes, court costs and attorneys’ fees; and it affords the peace of mind that your loved ones can mourn your loss without being simultaneously burdened with unnecessary red tape and financial confusion.
All estate plans should include, at minimum, two important estate planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and a will. The first is for managing your property during your life, in case you are ever unable to do so yourself. The second is for the management and distribution of your property after death. In addition, more and more, Americans also are using revocable (or “living”) trusts to avoid probate and to manage their estates both during their lives and after they’re gone.
Should you have any questions regarding your estate planning, John S. Polgrean is available for an initial consultation.