In today’s world, we have easy access to information on the internet, but there are still some misunderstandings about estate planning. Many of us don’t take the time to learn about it because we might not realize why we need an estate plan or the benefits it brings. Here, we’ll talk about three important reasons why having an up-to-date estate plan is crucial.
Reason #1: Your estate plan helps your loved ones understand your wishes.
People often shy away from discussing topics like death because they are emotional and challenging. However, it’s vital to communicate your post-life wishes to your loved ones. They may be unsure how to proceed when you’re no longer around, causing confusion and stress, especially after significant life changes like the birth or death of a loved one.
Reason #2: Estate planning is a legally binding way to make sure your wishes are carried out.
You might think that your family will follow your wishes without the need for a formal estate plan. But it’s hard to predict the future, and financial difficulties or other factors might cause your loved ones to act differently. For example, adding a child’s name to your property or bank accounts might seem like a good idea, but it can lead to complications. When you pass away, your child becomes the sole owner and can do whatever they want with the property, which might not align with your wishes.
By working with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a legally enforceable estate plan, you can ensure that your hard-earned assets go to the right people without conflict.
Reason #3: You get to decide what happens.
If you don’t create your own estate plan or if it doesn’t cover everything, the state has its own plan, known as an intestate statute. This state plan might not match your wishes and doesn’t consider your unique family situation. For example, if you’re in a blended family, have minor children, own a business, or are part of an unmarried couple, not having an estate plan can lead to unwanted consequences.
An estate plan also protects you in case of incapacity due to an accident, injury, or illness. Without a plan, you might end up in a court-supervised conservator-ship or guardianship, where someone you may not have chosen takes control of your affairs. With an estate plan, you can choose who acts on your behalf in case of incapacity, avoiding court involvement and its challenges.
In conclusion, an estate plan is essential for everyone. It lets you decide your future and ensures your wishes are followed. If you have any questions about creating or updating an estate plan, reach out to a qualified estate planning attorney.
Read about additional tools to help with your estate planning here: https://www.jnclarklaw.com/estate-planning-tools-you-need/