There are countless reasons people believe they don’t need to have an estate plan. Most commonly, they convince themselves that they are too young, too healthy, or not wealthy enough to warrant having end-of-life plans in place. On the contrary, few people wouldn’t benefit from estate planning. Here are three key reasons you should consider creating an estate plan today:
1. It allows you to avoid unintended distribution of your assets.
If you die without a will, your possessions, finances and property will be distributed according to state law which will likely not be exactly as you want it. A will, and trust if advisable in your circumstances, can provide your loved ones with clarity about your last wishes and allow them to administer your estate smoothly.
2. It’s useful in life, too
Most people associate estate planning with death, but your estate plan can also protect you in life if you have the right documents. For example, power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted individual to make legal and financial decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. A health care proxy allows you to appoint an agent to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. And a living will lays out your wishes to guide your health care agent to manage your medical treatment according to your wishes in the event you become incapacitated.
. For example, a allows you to appoint a trusted individual to make medical, legal, or financial decisions for you in the event you can no longer do so yourself. An advanced healthcare directive or healthcare proxy allows you to lay out plans for your medical treatment in the event you become incapacitated.
3. It can protect your children
Estate plans can protect more than just your finances and property. If you are a parent of minor children, your plan will include your choice of guardian for them in the event that you and your partner become unable to care for them. If you do not state your choice, the courts will have to determine who will have guardianship of your children.
Estate plans are not just about planning for the end of life. They are about giving your family and yourself peace of mind and protection no matter what happens.