You probably know you should get your legal affairs in order, but you keep putting it off. No one likes to think about dying, becoming incapacitated, or someone else raising their children or taking care of their loved ones. However, once you have a good understanding of what estate planning accomplishes and prevents, you will realize that no acceptable excuse exists for failing to plan. The following are three reasons that motivate people to take action and create their estate plans.
Life is unpredictable
Create an estate plan to protect yourself. Suppose you are in a condition where you cannot make your own financial and healthcare decisions for yourself at some point during your lifetime. In that case, your comprehensive estate plan will protect you by enabling those you trust the most to make your money and medical decisions while you can’t make them yourself. In the absence of an estate plan that includes power of attorney documents, your family will likely have to file a lawsuit against you to declare you legally incompetent. A judge will then have to appoint a legal guardian to make your decisions during your incapacity.
You will lose control if you don’t take action
Create an estate plan for those you love. If you pass away without an estate plan, state law will dictate who is in charge of settling your estate, as well as who inherits all of your belongings. An estate plan puts you in control of what happens when you pass away or become incapacitated, which allows you to designate those you trust the most with your future financial, healthcare, and estate decisions. It also allows you to specify how your estate assets will be distributed to or for your closest loved ones.
Save time and money in the long run
Estate planning is cost-efficient. The costs of setting up your estate plan can pale in comparison to the costs associated with failing to plan. For example, if you become incapacitated without an estate plan, costly guardianship proceedings require court filings and multiple attorneys. In addition, the probate process that is required when you have no estate plan will cost thousands in court costs and attorney fees while requiring months of effort from your court-appointed administrator.
Different life events motivate people to create and maintain their estate plans. For some, protecting their spouse or children is essential. Others want the peace of mind that comes from knowing their estate and their closest loved ones are protected. It’s never too early or too late to build your legacy and make a long-term positive impact on those who mean the most to you.