Planning for the future may seem like an unnecessary task for couples who are young or who do not have any children. Others may not see estate planning as necessary if they are not wealthy or if they have already discussed their wishes with their closest loved ones. These assumptions are not true, and failure to have an estate plan can lead to problems with beneficiaries and loved ones in the future.
Most families benefit from having an estate plan. This is not something reserved only for the rich and famous. There are plenty of reasons why drafting certain documents is prudent, no matter a person’s age, health status, income level or other factors. Most people understand the importance of financial planning, and estate planning is simply a continuation of that. It allows a person to control wealth, assets and health care.
When and why do you need one?
One of the most popular times for drafting an estate plan is after the birth of children. Planning allows parents to decide how they can care for their children in the case of their passing, and they can also name a guardian to look after minor children. A will is the simplest aspect of an estate plan, and it is the foundation of many other protections that may benefit a testator and his or her family. In addition to a will, there are documents that allow an individual to accomplish specific financial objectives.
Another benefit to having an estate plan is that it allows an individual to make plans in case he or she is not able to express wishes due to incapacitation. There are documents that outline health care preferences and others that name someone to make important medical decisions in case that individual cannot. There are documents that name someone to make financial decisions as well.
Protection and privacy
There are many ways an estate plan provides protection, but it can be a way to shield a family’s privacy as well. When someone dies without a will, state laws determine what happens to an estate, and the family may have to go through a lengthy and public process to settle matters and close the estate.
To learn about ways an estate plan could be important for an individual situation, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. Assessing the individual case allows a lawyer to provide counsel specifically tailored to the needs and objectives of that family.