For many people, estate planning seems like something that can be put off until years from now. But that position can be dangerous, leaving you, your family, and your assets at risk.
Why? Let’s take a look at some reasons why putting off estate planning is risky and why you should consider starting the process now:
- Intestate succession: If you pass away without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed in accordance with state law, which is known as intestate succession. That might not sound so bad, but the reality is that intestate succession often works against an individual’s wishes and can leave certain loved ones without the support that you intended them to have.
- The future of your finances: You might be healthy now, but things can change in the blink of an eye. If you don’t have a proper estate plan in place, your financial decision-making may be left in the hands of someone you don’t trust if you become incapacitated.
- Your medical decisions: The same can be said for your medical care. With sound estate planning, you can specify who will make decisions about your health care if you’re unable to do so, but those crucial decisions may end up in the hands of someone you don’t know if you don’t have a plan in place.
- Threats to your family’s stability: Estate planning is one way to ensure that your loved ones have the stability that they need once you’re gone. But if you forego the process altogether, you could be leaving them in a dire financial predicament.
- The risk of familial infighting: Even if you create an estate plan, a lack of clarity and thoroughness can cause family members to fight over your assets. This litigation can prove damaging to familial relationships, and it can be costly to your estate. That’s why you should start planning early, make frequent modifications if necessary, and ensure that your plan is detailed and clear.
- Tax implications: If you have a large estate, passing assets to your loved ones could have significant tax implications that can prove costly to your estate and your loved ones. There are ways around these tax implications, but they require sound estate planning.
- Maintaining control: If you’re someone who wants to retain some sort of control over your estate and mold how your loved ones act, an estate plan may be crucial for you. Depending on the tools that you utilize, you can dictate how and when assets are distributed, which could motivate your loved ones to act in a certain way.
- Life is unpredictable: In the end, life is full of surprises. The estate planning process, though, seeks to anticipate those surprises so that you can rest easy knowing that everything is in place should something go wrong.
Are you ready to create the holistic estate plan that you need?
We know that it isn’t easy to think about your own mortality. And creating an estate plan just feels like something else to add to your already overly long to-do list. But we’re confident that once you have a strong estate plan in place, you’ll feel a burden lifted from your shoulders.
So, if you’re ready to learn about what you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your assets, now may be the time to discuss estate planning with an attorney of your choosing.