Don’t wait to accumulate more wealth, says attorney: the time for an estate plan is now.
There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when a person dies. The biggest decisions involve the division of assets and who will take care of minor children. When the deceased has an estate plan in place, their families can trust that their loved one’s wishes will be carried out as they desired because their plan was put in place before they died. The only way to be sure that your wishes are carried out when you die is to establish an estate plan. Attorneys agree that the right time to start thinking about an estate plan is sooner rather than later.
Without an estate plan, decisions about a person’s estate are made by the State, and unfortunately, the government doesn’t always determine asset division and custody the way a deceased person might have preferred. Intestacy laws are a set of predetermined parameters that help guide officials in determining which heirs receive what assets in the event that a person dies without an estate plan. These laws create a formula that makes it easier for courts to establish asset allocation and custody arrangements without much subjectivity. But they aren’t always consistent with a person’s wishes.
While people tend to think that an estate becomes more necessary as one ages or accumulates wealth, the reality is that young families often have the most to lose without an estate plan in place. Young families contend with custody considerations, are often less financially stable, and are more likely to face an unexpected death. Not having an estate plan in place can be emotionally and monetarily costly to family members of the deceased. An estate plan offers the peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death.
An attorney that practices estate law can help you plan your estate. If you have a bank account or own any assets – a home, stocks and bonds, or any other personal property – you have an estate. Remember, you do not have to be wealthy or elderly to do some serious thinking regarding estate planning. There is no time like the present to start making your estate plans.
Interested in learning more about estate law or have questions about setting up your estate? We’d love to help. Contact us here.