It goes without saying that no one gets excited about creating an estate plan. Even if you understand the importance of doing so, you won’t be on the edge of your seat thinking about how much fun it will be.
Unfortunately, if you continue to put this off, it could result in trouble for you and/or your loved ones in the future.
Who should create an estate plan?
Generally speaking, if you have assets, you should create an estate plan. If nothing else, it allows you to outline who will receive your assets in the event of your death. Here are some other questions you can answer to help you determine if now’s the time to create an estate plan:
- How large is your estate?
- Do you have children?
- Do you want to do something in particular with your assets upon your death, such as leave them to charity?
- Are you concerned about your privacy after your death?
- Are you a business owner? Do you have a succession plan?
Benefits of an estate plan
As you answer these questions, you’ll come to better understand if you need an estate plan. Here are some benefits of going down this path:
- Opportunity to avoid probate: You can do this through the creation of a trust, as opposed to relying solely on a will. When you avoid probate, your assets are more quickly and efficiently distributed to your heirs upon your death. Furthermore, it provides privacy protection, unlike a will which is public record.
- Help your loved ones avoid an argument: Without an estate plan, there’s a much greater chance that your loved ones will argue as they attempt to decide where your assets should end up. An estate plan allows you to lay everything out in a clear and concise manner.
- Name a guardian for your children: Estate planning isn’t all about what happens to your assets upon your death. You can also do things such as name a guardian for your children, which will give both you and them peace of mind. This is an important decision with potential mistakes lurking, so take your time.
If you don’t have an estate plan, think long and hard about creating one. Once you take this step, it’s easier to look toward the future with a clear mind.