It is a good idea to think about what an estate plan can do for you and your family.
One of the many reasons people do not get estate plans or delay getting them, is general confusion regarding what an estate plan does and the benefits of the planning.
People often have a general idea of what will happen to their property after they pass away, if they do not have an estate plan. They more or less accept that.
What they do not think about, is how the laws of intestate succession would distribute their property and that they can still benefit from getting an estate plan.
Investopedia discussed some of the benefits in "Leaving a Legacy: Why You Need An Estate Plan," including:
- Even if you generally like who will get your assets under state law after you pass away, you can still benefit from deciding who gets what exactly. For example, if you have multiple children, an estate plan can let you decide which child gets what.
- An estate plan lets you determine what your values are and how you want those values expressed. You can do things in an estate plan, like making sure your grandchildren have money for education and that your favorite charities receive donations from your estate.
- You can dictate how your children receive your property. For example, you can protect their inheritance for them from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce, etc.
- As things in your life change, your estate plan can evolve with those changes and let you stay on top of what will happen to your possessions and family after you pass away.
Reference: Investopedia (Jan. 5, 2018) "Leaving a Legacy: Why You Need An Estate Plan."