The Value of an Estate Plan
If you are just beginning to learn about estate planning, you aren’t alone. CNBC recently reported that 67% of Americans are living without one. Some people may hear from their friends, family, or financial advisors/attorneys that they should strongly consider establishing a solid estate plan. But they may quickly realize that most people don’t have one. That leads them to ask the following question: Do I really need an estate plan?
Here’s our very candid response to that: You might not. However, that doesn’t mean most people should ignore their need for an estate plan. If you don’t have:
- Anything of value
- A car
- A bank account
- A home
You likely don’t need an estate plan if you don't have any money. But most people have at least one of things—and in all likelihood, they have most of them. When you have assets of value, you can direct where they go. The choice is yours. Estate planning enables you to document your wishes legally so that your chosen beneficiaries receive the assets you want them to have.
Your estate is subject to intestate laws when you pass away without an estate plan. These will dictate where your belongings go. And because you don’t have an estate plan in place, you have lost the ability to have a say in the matter. You may opt to have part of your estate be given to charities or religious organizations. An estate planning attorney can ensure that happens. Otherwise, the state will have the only say in where your assets go.
Here is another candid comment: Often, the state makes decisions that most people would not make for themselves. Anyone unfamiliar with estate planning is probably unaware of intestate laws' specifics. If that is the case, you may not know where your property, car, and money will go.
To go back to the original question, you may not need an estate plan. But if you have any assets at all or want to make your own decisions regarding where they will go, you need an estate plan.
Family First Firm
Most people are unaware of how many assets they own. Even accessing a deceased person’s bank account can be complicated if they haven’t previously provided access to it. Contact the trusted attorneys at the Family First Firm and schedule your consultation today.