Despite the fact that even a simple will can provide much-needed financial protection and security for loved ones, many people fail to take the appropriate steps to ensure that they have the right documents in place. Estate planning is not something reserved only for the wealthy, but is a smart step for any individual at any income level. Besides providing financial security, it can also provide peace of mind.
Why people fail to plan for the future
No one likes to think about death, and as a result, they decline to draft a will or any other form of protection. If you feel that it is morbid to plan for what will happen after you pass away, consider how a will can protect your loved ones. Just taking a few simple steps can ensure your family gets the right assets and keeps any money you leave behind.
People also fail to plan because they believe that their estates are not valuable enough to merit a formal estate plan or they have verbally explained to a family member what they wish to happen to their assets. In reality, a verbal agreement will not be enforceable, adding to the complication of settling your estate. Regardless of your wealth or assets, even a basic will is a smart and practical step.
The benefits of estate planning involve more than your money
One of the primary benefits of an estate plan is the fact that it allows you to have control over what happens to your estate and your money after you die. In addition to deciding who gets what, your estate plan can outline the following:
- Who can make medical decisions on your behalf in case you are incapacitated
- What will happen to your small business
- If you would like to donate any part of your estate to a charity
- How you would like insurance matters handled
- Planning for taxes
- The establishment of a trust for the care of a special needs or young beneficiary
- How you would like real estate concerns handled
What you need to include as part of your estate plan depends on the type of assets you have, the amount of money in question and your personal objectives. You may benefit from just a simple will, or you may need to establish a trust or powers of attorney and more for your full protection and benefit. An attorney can help you understand the best options according to your needs and goals.