While no one wants to consider the end of their life, taking proactive steps via estate planning can provide peace of mind for your family members. A will documents your wishes and objectives at the end of your life. Putting off without a plan in place and beneficiaries established can create stress and chaos among your loved ones.
Estate plans include:
- Living wills
- Power of attorney
- Healthcare power of attorney
A common misconception surrounding estate planning is that it is exclusively for the wealthy. Regardless of the assets you own and their value, it still necessitates formalizing your wishes upon your death, no matter how modest. You have control over who receives your assets that include the following:
- Family home
- Additional real estate investments
- Bank accounts
- A business you own
- Life insurance
- Personal possessions
- Debts you owe
The importance of estate planning can never be understated. Procrastination is not recommended, yet it is common. Alarmingly nearly 50 percent of Americans over 55 do not have a will, let alone an entire plan.
The death of a loved one is a time for family members to come together. The lack of an estate plan can create turmoil in the most close-knit families. Financially, probate costs and tax burdens can deplete both money and assets. Personally, loved ones are left to interpret your wishes. Grief combines with uncertainty. Disputes can quickly arise that only prolongs the process and potentially damage relationships.
Estate planning is not recommended to be a “do-it-yourself” process. Help from a skilled attorney can ensure that all facets are done right, and everyone involved can have that all-important peace of mind following a tragic loss.