The most basic reason that you need an estate plan is that you own assets — which make up your estate. You probably want to pass those assets to your heirs, whether those are people related to you, friends, partners, or even a beloved charity. Without an estate plan, the state will take over the process of distributing your assets for you, which can lead to complications and higher costs that deprive your heirs of your estate’s full value.
But that’s not the only reason to have your plans in place. Here are a few other reasons why you need to have an estate plan:
Four reasons you need to make sure your estate plans are ready
Everybody has different things that matter to them. One or more of the following reasons could be enough to convince you that it’s time to get your estate paperwork handled. Having your will and other estate plans together is a good idea because:
- It can prevent disputes between your heirs. Disputes over an estate are more common when people do not have a current will because the heirs may not agree on your true wishes (or with each other about anything).
- It can reduce the taxes that your heirs have to pay. There are many ways to cut down on the costs if you plan in advance, and that keeps the government from taking money that you earned and saved away from your heirs.
- It can address medical decisions and long-term care issues that arise prior to your death. Estate planning is about much more than just your assets, and you need a comprehensive plan.
- You get more control over what happens after you are gone. Not only can you clarify your wishes in a will, but you can use trusts and other devices for even greater control over your assets after your death.
Estate planning is important, and it is never too early to begin. These are just a few of the reasons you need a plan.
Explore the options you have for estate planning
If you’re interested in making an estate plan, just take the time to really look into all of your options to determine what will work best for you.