Do I Need to Plan My Estate?

Many people often think estate planning is for the wealthy or simply believe that there is no need for them to have an estate plan – after all, they don’t have much anyway. The reality is that anyone who has reached the age of majority in their state, has any assets which are important to them, or who has children should make an estate plan.

 

The fact is, whether your estate is large or small, there are many compelling reasons why everyone (with very few exceptions) should take the time to organize and plan their estate. For example, developing and implementing a good estate plan will ensure that:

 

  1. your assets will be managed during any period of in which you are incapacitated;
  2. someone you know and trust will be able to make medical decisions in accordance with your specific instructions and wishes should you become incapacitated; 
  3. your assets will be disposed of as you would have wanted following your death;
  4. your family and friends will not have to wait months or even years to receive their inheritance following your death;
  5. your children will be properly looked after by a guardian of your choosing and not one appointed by a court; and
  6. many more.

When it comes to estate planning, one thing is certain. If you fail to plan ahead, a judge will make all of the above decisions for you. In making these decisions, the judge will look your state’s law and the predefined estate plan that applies for everyone who fails to plan for the distribution of their estate themselves. In essence, a court will appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf, dictate who receives your assets based on specific rules of inheritance (known as the rules of intestacy), appoint someone to look after your children and much more. What is worse, neither your wishes nor those of your family can override the decision of the court.

 

From the above, you can see that one of the most compelling reasons to prepare an estate plan sooner rather than later is control. If you have a proper estate plan in place then you, and not a court, can determine how your affairs are dealt with.

 

We will now take a brief introductory look at some of the various estate planning devices and techniques that you may need to use to implement your plan once you have finalised your thoughts in that respect.  


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Estate Planning Essentials

Estate Planning Essentials

 

This book is a must read for anyone who doesn’t already have a comprehensive estate plan. It will show you the importance of having Wills, Living Wills, Living Trusts and Powers of Attorney in your estate plan and teach you about probate, taxes, providing for children and much more. Get started on your estate plan today!

 

 

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