The sad fact is that very few people have an estate plan in place when they die. While they have their own personal reasons for avoiding it, many do not even have a simple will at the end of their lives. What they do not realize is that they potentially leave behind a mess of confusion and misunderstanding. They may even leave their loved ones with little security for their futures.
What can an estate plan do?
An estate plan is not just for the rich. Of course, someone who has many or complex assets may need a more comprehensive plan. However, many facets of an estate plan can benefit anyone who has any of the following goals:
- Naming a guardian to care for minor children if both parents should pass away
- Ensuring that one’s assets go to the appropriate heirs
- Sparing loved ones the frustration of a prolonged probate
- Minimizing the tax implications for one’s heirs
- Reducing the likelihood that those left behind will fight over one’s estate
In fact, the frustration that people face when a loved one dies without an estate plan often leads to lifelong conflict and irreparable hurt. A clear and legally binding estate plan often preempts family squabbles that can quickly end up in court.
The next step
Planning is an important part of life. It is not unusual for someone to spend months or even years planning a dream vacation, a forever home or an ideal retirement life. Difficult as it may be to think even further into the future, creating an estate plan can provide many benefits for one’s loved ones. It is not a plan a person should put off or ignore.