Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan
October 12th, 2015
Estate planning is not just for millionaires with summer houses. Every adult who has people he or she loves and cares about needs an estate plan. Contrary to popular belief, most people have an estate. It consists of your home, personal property, investments, bank accounts, retirement plans, and any interest in a business; the things you worked hard to acquire and maintain. If you were to die without an estate plan, state law will determine how those things are distributed, and it will not be a quick or easy process for your loved ones.
Most people would not take a trip without first looking at a map. Similarly, having an estate plan provides a map to your loved ones. It lets them know what you want to happen with your things, your children and even yourself. A good estate plan includes documents that designate a person to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated, where and if you want to be buried, what personal property should go to what persons, and who you want caring for your children. Having such a plan in place not only allows a person to designate who gets the grandfather clock, for example, but it also provides peace of mind both to the person making the plan and also those that are left to administer it. Should unexpected tragedy occur, having an estate plan makes for one less thing to which those you care about will need to devote significant time and energy.
While an estate plan does not need to be complicated, it does need to be comprehensive. Working with an attorney can ensure that everything and everyone is provided for in the manner in which you intend. It is important that you choose an estate planning attorney and law firm with which you feel comfortable so that, as time passes and things in your life change, your attorney can modify your estate plan to make sure it continues to accurately reflect your intentions.