Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan
Estate Planning zzzzzz…Trust us, we get it. We know it is tedious to make an accounting of all your assets, round up paperwork, and figure out whether you actually signed up for life insurance at work and what those terms are. We know it forces you to think about things that you'd rather not think about.
But also trust us when we say that estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family, and will give you unparalleled peace of mind going forward.
Estate Planning - A Necessity
As you go through life, you accumulate things. Big things, like homes, land, and money; small things, like books, computers, and photographs. You may be married or with a long-term partner. You may have kids.
You may very well decide that once you’re not around or mentally incapacitated, it doesn’t matter what happens to your stuff. On some level, you’re right.
The problem is that somebody will have to deal with your stuff. And that somebody will probably be somebody who is also trying to find a way to grieve, or handle your incapacity, and who may not know the first thing about what you wanted to do with it, or what kind of health care decisions you would have made.
Without estate planning, all of your stuff will get distributed to people pursuant to the Probate Code; arguments may ensue about who gets what; the government will take a chunk out of your estate. Opportunities may be lost to do something amazing for your child or a niece. The proceedings will be public record. Some people you care about may be left without.
All the while, in addition to the grieving, there may be anxiety, tension, and uncertainty regarding your funeral and how it’s paid for. Disputes may erupt, as one uncle insists you wanted your ashes sprinkled in the Pacific, while your brother thinks he heard you say you wanted to be distributed in your favorite forest in Costa Rica.
This pales in comparison to the anxiety and confusion caused if you are incapacitated, and on life support. Without clear instructions on what your wishes are, those closest to you will have to make these difficult decisions. And, in some instances, it could get messy if people cannot agree on what they think you would want.
But, can you imagine if once you pass, your family and friends can focus on grieving your loss and celebrating your life, knowing that there is little else for them to do but to carry out your final wishes? What if you had already provided everyone with clear, thoughtful, smart instructions on how you wanted your properties, wealth, and belongings distributed? What if you have already nominated guardians who can and will take on the responsibility of caring for and loving your minor children.
With just a few hours of thought.
This, in short, is estate planning.
We can help with all aspects of your estate plan, including the creation of a trust or will, guardianship of minor children, and financial and health care powers of attorney. We offer reasonable flat-fee or hourly rates. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our online worksheet to get started.