Estate planning is an essential part of planning for your retirment but it is also important to take advantage of the benefits of estate planning before you get older. Many people don't think about creating a will until it's too late. Unfortunately, this can have serious consequences for their estate and their family.
Creating a will does not have to be complicated and they are not just important for wealthy or older individuals to have. A will is a legal document that states what will happen to a person's assets and property, as well as document who will be a guardian for your children.
Despite the benefits of having a will, many people in the U.S. still don't have a will. There are many reasons people procrastinate and put off creating a will or estate plan. Below are some of the most common reasons people say they don't need a will and why they should still have one:
- Don't have enough assets or wealth for a will: you don't need to be rich to benefit from having a will. Anything you own as well as the money in your bank accounts will have to be distributed upon your death. It is very helpful to have a will designating who will receive your assets and property in the event of your death to make sure your wishes are respected.
- My spouse or family member will take care of my children: while most parents do not die at the same time, it is still important for appoint a guardian for your children. A will can also note how your children will be care for and what they will inherit from your estate.
- Assuming your family knows your wishes: dying without a will means a probate judge will determine what will happen to your assets and property. Even if your family knows your wishes, not having a will results in going to court that can take months or even years to resolve issues.
Not having a will can result in significant and challenging issues for the family. That is why it is important for individuals to plan for their estate and create a will.
Source: USAA, "Exit Strategy: Why You Need a Will - Today,"