An estate plan is a set of legal actions you take now to provide for yourself and loved-ones upon your incapacity or death. If you have been putting off writing your estate plan, here are five reasons you should put a comprehensive estate plan in place now:
- Control. It is your money. You have worked hard to accumulate your nest egg. If there is some left over at the end, shouldn’t you be the one to direct who gets it? Without the proper documents in place, complex and often counter-intuitive rules from the State of California and your investment plan documents control who inherits your estate. With a properly written estate plan in place, you are in charge.
- Unintended consequences. Say you put your property in joint tenancy with your friend so that she gets your property when you die instead of your heirs. But what if your friend dies first or transfers her interest out of joint tenancy? Then without planning, your property would go to your heirs anyway. With a properly written estate plan in place, you can minimize or eliminate unintended consequences.
- Incapacity. Most of us will lose the ability to make financial and health care decisions for a period of time before we die. If you become incapacitated, then without a plan in place, your financial and physical care would likely require expensive and time-consuming court involvement that would only further burden your family. With a properly written estate plan in place, loved-ones of your choosing could seamlessly provide for your care.
- Family. A cohesive and caring family is one of the proudest achievements of any parent. A carefully drafted estate plan eases your loved-ones’ administrative burden and fosters family unity after your death. With a properly written estate plan in place, you can keep your kids out of court, because your plan documents will dictate who is in charge of distributing your estate and the rules under which your estate gets distributed.
- Probate. Probate means money and delay when you die. With a properly written estate plan in place, you can spare your family the trials of probate.
As you can see, there are at least five reasons you should start your comprehensive estate plan today. For more information or to get started on your estate plan, please call me at 707-636-4806. David J. Collier practices law in Sonoma County in the areas of Real Estate, Wills, Trusts, and Probate. David is responsible for the content of this ADVERTISEMENT. The information in this article is not legal advice. To obtain legal advice you must discuss your unique circumstances with an attorney.