Top 5 Reasons to Have an Estate Plan
Many people think that estate plans are only for someone that has a lot of money. But that’s not true. Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of net worth.
1. Avoiding probate. Without a plan, your assets (aka “your stuff”) may be subject to delays and costly attorney fees. With a plan, you can avoid probate entirely, along with the delays and expenses that accompany it.
2. Dying without a will. Without a plan, your assets pass to your family members (perhaps not the ones you would choose). With a plan, you decide who gets your assets, when they get them, and how they get them.
3. Keeping assets in the family. Without a plan, your child's inheritance may wind up with your in-law if your child passes away prematurely after receiving their inheritance. If your child faces divorce after receiving the inheritance, half of your assets could go to the soon-to-be-x-in-law. With a plan, you can ensure that your assets will stay in your family.
4. Blended families. Without a plan, children from different marriages may not be treated as you would wish. With a plan, you determine how much of your “stuff” goes to your current spouse when you die. And if the surviving spouse gets it all, your plan can prevent the surviving spouse from disinheriting your children.
5. Loss of capacity. Without a plan the courts will select the person to manage your financial affairs and healthcare. With a plan, you pick that person through a power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney (aka healthcare surrogate).