When estate planning is something that most people think that only extremely wealthy people need, they may not consider how it could benefit them. Misinformation about estate planning may be part of why two out of every three adults do not have a thorough estate plan. An estate plan offers a lot to the person who makes one for themselves, so why would you need an estate plan?
The benefits of thorough planning
A proper estate plan is more than just a legal document that passes on assets to beneficiaries. Some of the benefits of an estate plan have nothing to do with inheritances at all. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can:
- Designate who will receive what assets from your estate
- Create trusts to help your loved ones avoid inheritance taxes and even enjoy their inheritance before your passing
- Establish a health care directive that specifies your wishes in specific medical situations
- Appoint guardians for your children or vulnerable adults
- Appoint a Power of Attorney to act on your behalf
Estate planning allows you to take control over situations that you normally would not have any control over. You can have a voice in moments that would otherwise leave your loved ones guessing about what you want or how to act in times of crisis. You can also enjoy the added benefit of preventing family infighting about who should receive what from your estate by getting the last word in the matter.
Consult with an attorney to start planning
If you do not have a plan in place or have not updated your estate plan in a few years, now is the time to act. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss what you can do to protect your wishes in the future and make sure you are looking after your loved ones when the time comes.