Wills and trusts are only for the wealthy, right? No, that’s no longer the case. Estate planning is for everyone that wants to protect any of their assets or plan for their family or their own incapacity.
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While many people assume that estate planning is only necessary if you have a lot of money and retirement assets, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Estate planning is about more than just money. Estate planning is also tailored to the individual to reflect their assets and wishes. Your plan will change depending on your current stage of life.
Proper planning does allow you to determine who gets your money and property, but it also addresses what happens if you become incapacitated and someone needs to make decisions on your behalf.
Potential incapacity is one of the main reasons many people want to make sure their estate plan is in order and well-drafted. If you haven’t planned, the court may have to appoint someone to make your medical and financial decisions for you. This can be time consuming, costly and public.
Failure to plan can also cause tension and divides among family members. There might be disagreement about who should be appointed and how decisions should be made on your behalf.
Estate planning also allows you to appoint guardians for minor children and even appoint someone to care for your pets. If you have minor children at home, you will likely want to decide who will care for them in the event something were to happen to you and your spouse.
Finally, even if you don’t have much, estate planning still allows you to protect what you do have and pass it to those who you want to have your property without the state stepping in and deciding. Often, the state does not make the same decisions that you would.
Estate planning is the only way that you can talk from the grave or protect your interests in the event of incapacity.
And always contact an attorney to help you with your estate plan. Quick and easy online templates can lead to large costs and uncertainties down the line.
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