A family affair

ADVERTORIAL — Life can be unpredictable. What happens when the unexpected occurs and you haven’t prepared for it? Who will be left to pick up the pieces? In the wake of an unexpected death, if you don’t have an estate plan in place, your assets will be dealt with through state law which may not honor your intentions or wishes.

Leaving the responsibility of sorting out your assets to your spouse or child is not ideal. In some cases, the default state laws can prove detrimental to family members. Whether it’s your kids, your home, your partner, or your life earnings, estate planning is crucial for the future of your family and properties. Matthew Ekins, estate planning specialist of Gallian Welker & Beckstrom LC, said people come to him for all different reasons.

“Usually it’s retirees who want to make sure their spouse is taken care of once one of them passes away,” Ekins said. “Or, it also can be younger families that have children whom they want to make sure that they are taken care of financially.”

Second marriages that create blended families benefit from an estate plan that provides how both property of each will follow to their children and stepchildren, as well as working out issues of guardianship.

It can be anything from guardianship, to appointing someone to make health care decisions, to how your finances will be dealt with. Most likely you already have an idea of how you would like those things to be handled but unless it’s signed, sealed, and documented — your wishes may not be met.

“Most people come in because it’s peace of mind,” Ekins said. “They don’t really look at it as a money-saver, but it can be.”

Certainty of the outcome and cost savings and are critical considerations for second marriages and blended families.

Leaving your family’s assets to be figured out by the state can fast become a huge financial burden. Ekins told a story of a woman whose husband died unexpectedly with no plan in place. State laws prevailed, and she will likely pay more to resolve the issues in court than it would have taken to set up an estate plan with her husband to avoid legal proceedings.

There are a variety of reasons why people don’t have an estate plan. They can either be unsure of the process, or believe they have time to figure it out later. Getting started can be the hardest part.

“A lot of people feel overwhelmed or unfamiliar with the process,” Ekins said. “After, people will ask them what did they think about the experience and they always say it was easier than they anticipated.”

Ekins encourages people who are coming in for their first meeting to bring in any questions they have along with relevent paperwork such as real estate deeds, investment documents, and account statements. On average the process takes between 7-10 days from the initial meeting. For urgent cases Ekins and his fellow attorneys can accelerate the process.

Gallian Welker and Beckstrom has been in the community for over 30 years and offers reliable, long-term service to their clients through their experienced attorneys. This is crucial when dealing with estate planning that can span over generations.

“With the experience,” Ekins said, “you also get the knowledge to customize and address the details that matter to you and your family.”

 Ekins said.

Resources

  • Call Gallian Welker & Beckstrom, L.C. to begin your estate planning at (435) 628-1682, or visit their website
  • For more detailed information on Estate Planning, Probate, and Wills, click here.

A D V E R T O R I A L

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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