Legal

5 Reasons You Need to Create an Estate Plan

Although it is not a pleasant subject, you should be thinking about what will happen to your estate after you pass away. You do not want to just leave a pile of assets behind for your family to sort out. An estate plan can help. Here are five reasons why you need to create an estate plan.

You Never Know When Something Might Happen

One reason you need to have an estate plan in place is that you never know what is going to happen in the future. An example is that there are over 130,000 annual deaths from unintentional injuries that occur suddenly and without warning. If this occurs, then you will have no control over what happens to your money, possessions or non-adult children. You want to have an estate plan created just in case something tragic happens in the near future.

Specify What You Want Done With Your Assets

You have likely collected many things of value over the years such as family heirlooms, investment accounts or even pieces of expensive artwork. You might have an idea about who should get what. The best way to ensure that your final wishes are fulfilled is to create an estate plan. A professionally prepared plan will allow you to specify exactly what should happen to all your assets. This includes items like businesses you own and financial vehicles like annuities. You can rest easy knowing your possessions will be distributed in the way you want.

Prevent Family Fighting and Legal Disputes

Emotions often run high after a loved one dies. Family members might have very different ideas about what you wanted or what you thought. This can lead to family infighting and even lawsuits between relatives over your estate. A major reason you need to create an estate plan is to prevent this type of fighting and legal action. Your estate plan will settle all questions unequivocally and without ambiguity. This can keep your family intact and happy.

Grant Power Of Attorney to Who You Want

Something to consider is who will make decisions for you if you become incapacitated in the future. The burden might end up falling on someone you do not trust, a complete stranger or even a judge in a courtroom. You can stop that from happening by making an estate plan. You can grant someone you trust medical power of attorney over you if you are suddenly unable to make decisions on your own.

Avoid Probate Court Completely

About 70 percent of adults have no estate plan leading to the development of many local and federal laws regarding assets left behind. If you do not have a plan, then your estate can end up in probate court. Your surviving family could be charged hefty fees or taxes. Your estate will become public record. Assets could be tied up in court for years. A good estate plan will allow you to avoid probate court completely.