When you think of estates and estate planning, you probably think it’s just something that rich people do to pass their assets onto their children. But did you know that there’s a lot more to estate planning than a tax avoidance plan for the wealthy? Here are five things you didn’t know about estate planning. 1. Estate Planning is for Everyone The first thing to know is the most fundamental: estate planning is for everyone. There’s no minimum amount of assets to make planning an estate worth it; those with limited amounts of assets can often afford to lose the least, so they must plan their estate most effectively to pass on the most, in the most cost effective manner. 2. If You Don’t Plan, Your State Will If you don’t set up an estate plan, your state will once you’re deceased or become disabled. If you die without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to state probate laws, without any input as to what you would have preferred. You don’t control what percentage of your estate each beneficiary would receive, much less which beneficiaries inherit at all. If you become disabled without an estate plan, only a court appointee can sign for you regarding assets in your name provided you cannot conduct business due to your incapacity. 3. Estate Planning Helps You Correct Beneficiary Designations Beneficiary designations are often not kept up to date or are just inaccurate. Naming the wrong beneficiary can lead to having to pay larger taxes. Planning in advance helps you sort out these titles and make sure that they’re accurate before the tax penalties are unavoidable. 4. You Can Always Change Your Estate Plan If you plan your estate now, you can always make changes later. If you want to choose a new beneficiary, give different amounts of assets to each beneficiary, or add in new family members as time goes on, you can do that. Nothing is set in stone. 5. You May Have to Purchase an Estate Surety Bond A person appointed as an executor, personal representative, or administrator may be required to purchase an Estate Surety Bond, also known as a Probate Bond, Administrator Bond, Personal Representative Bond, or Executor Bond. These are required by a court and protects the estate’s beneficiaries in accordance with applicable state law. Requirements of this bond may vary by state or county where the decedent lived at the time of death. Click here to learn more about estate planning. So how do you purchase a court required Estate Surety Bond? Colonial Surety offers the direct and digital way to obtain estate bonds. We are the insurance company — which means no agent, no broker, and no middleman. We make it easy to obtain your bond instantly. The steps are easy — get a quote online, fill out your information, satisfy underwriting requirements, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file your bond from your office. It’s that simple!