This time of year, most people are making New Year’s Resolutions. Estate planning is a very important task that most people don’t like to think about, yet it is one of the most important gifts you can give your family.
Many people think that estate plans are for someone else, not them. They may rationalize that they are too young or don’t have enough money to reap the tax benefits of a plan. But there are reasons to have an estate plan even if you have a small estate or aren’t yet old. Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or net worth.
Here are just a few of the many reasons you may consider an Estate Plan:
- Loss of capacity: What happens if a person becomes unable to manage his or her own affairs? Without a plan, the courts will choose who manages your affairs. With a plan, you can choose who will act on your behalf in a written Power of Attorney document.
- Minor children: Without a plan, a court will decide who will raise your children. With a plan, you are able to nominate a guardian of choice.
- Dying without a will: Who will inherit your assets? Without a plan, the assets pass to heirs according to state laws. With a plan, you decide who gets what assets, along with when and how they receive them.
- Blended families: Without a plan, children from different marriages may not be treated as you would wish. With a plan, you determine what goes to the current spouse and what goes to the children from a prior marriage or marriages.
- Avoiding probate: Without an estate plan, your estate (even a small, simple one) may be subject to delays and excessive fees, and your assets and their disposition will be a matter of public record. With a plan, probate can be avoided entirely.
At RPM, we can help you prepare your Estate Plan. We are not attorneys and we cannot give legal advice, but we can help you as a registered Legal Document Assistant.
Please call us and set an appointment to discuss how to protect your family with an Estate Plan.