Families who have lived through probate without an estate planhttps://goldguytrusts.com/estate-planning/ will agree that the title of this article, “Preventing the Horrors of Dying Without a Will,” from Next Avenue, is no exaggeration. When a family is grieving is no time to be fighting; yet, the absence of a will and estate plan may lead to this exact situation.
Why do people choose not to have their wills and estate plans done? In fact, procrastinating your estate planning is a choice!
Limited understanding about wealth transfers. Some people may think they do not have enough assets to require an estate plan. Their home, retirement funds or savings account may not be in the mega-millions, but this is actually more of a reason to have an estate plan.
Fear of mortality. We do not like to talk or think about death. However, talking about what will happen when you die or if you become incapacitated is very important. Planning helps your children or other trusted family members or friends make decisions on your behalf and care for you without causing an expensive and emotionally disastrous time.
Perceived lack of benefits. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney who will put your interests first means you will have one less thing to worry about as you age.
Estate planning documents contain the wishes and directives for your legacy and finances after you pass. They answer questions like:
Your estate plan includes a will, trusts (if appropriate), a durable financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney or advanced directive and a living will. The will distributes your property and also names an executor, who is in charge of making sure the directions in the will are carried out. A trust escapes the necessity of probating your will and allows for continued management of your assets while you are incapacitated or after you pass away.
If you become incapacitated by illness or injury, the POA gives agency to someone else to carry out your wishes while you are living. The living will provides an opportunity to express your wishes regarding end-of-life care. These documents become void when you pass away.
There are many different reasons to put off having an estate plan, but they all end up in the same place: the potential to create family disruption, unnecessary expense and stress. Show your family how much you love them by overcoming your fears and preparing for the next generation. Meet with an estate planning attorney and prepare for the future.
Reference: Next Avenue (March 21, 2022) “Preventing the Horrors of Dying Without a Will”