On January 20, 2017, the Republican Party will control the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The party will quickly act on its long-stated goal of eliminating the federal estate tax.
If it does so, do not be tempted to think that you no longer need an estate plan. There are reasons to get one that have nothing to do with avoiding the estate tax.
At the very least, you still want to have a will as Forbes discusses in "Five Reasons You Need a Will (Even If the Estate Tax Is Repealed)!"
The reasons include:
- In a will, you appoint an executor who is in charge of administering your affairs. The executor can make sure that all of your debts are paid and that your assets are handled appropriately.
- If you have minor children, a will is used to designate who you want to have guardianship of those children in case something happens to you.
- In a will, you can give specific bequests to people. That means if you want one of your children to have a specific piece of personal property for sentimental reasons, a will is the place that you do that.
- While getting a will you can also get advanced medical directives that will determine how you should be cared for, if you are incapacitated and not able to communicate with doctors at the time.
- A will is more efficient than allowing the courts to handle your affairs without your directions. Having a will is cheaper and faster than going to court. It also protects your estate by making sure that your property does not go to people you do not want to have it.
Reference: Forbes (Dec. 8, 2016) "Five Reasons You Need a Will (Even If the Estate Tax Is Repealed)!"