Estate planning for smaller estates

Many of my clients do not realize that their property and their family are at risk if they do not create an estate plan.  Many think that they do not have a large enough estate to need an estate plan at all.  The reality is that anyone with $100,000 or more in property – gross, which does not take any debt (mortgage, for example) into account – should have a comprehensive estate plan.  Probate fees alone can cost up to 10% of your total estate, but there are other fees as well.  If your family needs to go to court to obtain a conservatorship for you because you don’ t have a power of attorney, then that can cost thousands of dollars.  If you do not name a guardian for your children, your children could be the subject of a lengthy and expensive custody battle among your family members.  In fact, much of your estate can be taken with the cost and length of the probate process.  Don’t do this to your family: protect them.  This video gives you more information on the importance of comprehensive estate planning for estates with $500,000 or less.