It’s not often that people think about death or what happens to their assets after they pass away. So it should come as no surprise that nearly half of Americans don’t have a will, and even fewer have an estate plan. The reason behind this could be that people simply do not understand the importance of estate planning and how it can protect themselves and their loved ones.
Despite some misconceptions out there, estate planning isn’t only for the ultra-wealthy. Establishing one can ensure that your final wishes are met, even if you don’t have a large piece of property or trust to pass on. Below are three reasons why estate planning is so important and why you should start yours.
1. Estate Planning Protects Your Children
Life is full of unexpected events, and while you can’t predict them, you can make plans to minimize the damage. Having a will (a legal document part of the estate plan) is essential if you have young children. It will ensure that your kids are cared for in a way that you approve, and you will be able to name their guardians, instead of leaving that determination to the courts.
2. Estate Planning Helps Avoid Family Fights
We’ve all seen those movies or heard personal horror stories about a wealthy family member who passed away, and a war ensued. One person may feel entitled to an asset and another might stake a claim on distributing the finances.
This goes beyond your assets, though. Let’s say you became incapacitated and your family disagreed about your medical treatment or how your bills will be paid, an estate plan could stop these kinds of fights by outlining your wishes.
3. Avoid or Simplify Probate with Estate Planning
Probate is the legal process in which the courts decide how a deceased person’s assets will be distributed when there is no will. It is also used to determine the validity of one’s will. Avoiding or simplifying the probate process is one of the biggest reasons why people create an estate plan because it is known to be time-consuming, expensive, and complicated. An attorney can help you establish a strong estate plan that expresses your wishes and will hold up in court.
If you have more questions about estate planning, do not hesitate to reach out to our team. Contact us at (303) 647-4245 today to schedule your consultation.