One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think that you do not need an estate plan. If you believe that you are too young to need an estate plan, or simply do not have enough money or assets to justify creating a plan, you are probably making a mistake. Estate planning is something that everyone should pay attention to, no matter how old they are or what they own.
- Young Children If you have minor children an estate plan is essential. Without a Will naming someone as guardian of your children, the court will make that decision, and it may not be the person you would choose for that responsibility.
- You Could Become Incapacitated If you do not have an estate plan and something happens to where you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions, the court will appoint someone to do this. With a Power of Attorney you can decide who will have this role.
- No Will If you do not have a will, what assets you do have will pass to your heirs as determined by intestacy law. With a Will and a Trust, not only can you decide who gets your assets, but you can also decide when they get them and how.
- Multiple Marriages If you have children from more than one marriage you will want a will to ensure that all of your children are treated fairly. When you have an estate plan you can decide what your current spouse will get, and what your children from your prior marriage will get.
- Keep Your Assets in Your Family If you want your assets to benefit your family you will want an estate plan. If you create a Trust, even if your children die or divorce, the assets will stay within the family and pass to your grandchildren.
- Financial Security for Your Family If something were to happen to you, would your family still be financially secure? When you have an estate plan that includes a life insurance policy, you can have peace of mind knowing that your family would be financially provided for.
- Probate One of the benefits of an estate plan is that your family can avoid probate. If your estate goes into probate it can take a lot of time and money, plus all of your assets will become public record.
Regardless of your age or net worth, when you think of all of the security that an estate plan will provide, it is easy to see why you should have one.