I DON’T HAVE MUCH. So what?! You can still decide who gets your stuff! You may not need a complex Trust, but a basic Will can direct where you want assets to go. Who gets the family Bible? Or your mother’s jewelry? Save your loved ones from fighting over who gets what. And keep your maybe not-so-loved ones from getting all of your stuff! Got kids? A Will allows you to name a Guardian for your lil snot-nosed pack-rats! A Durable Power of Attorney protects you while you’re alive and allows you to appoint someone to handle finances if you can’t. A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions when you can’t. Or would you rather the Court pick someone for you?
I’M WAY TOO YOUNG TO WORRY. Wake up! You’re doing it for your future! And accidents happen. A Will allows you to decide where your assets go. A Will also allows you to name a Guardian for your sweet angels in hopes to avoid a Court fight over who gets ’em!
I TRUST MY FAMILY TO DO WHAT I WANT. But what if they disagree on what that is? You know they all think they are your favorite! An estate plan is your final chance to tell them what to do. So tell them what to do! Let them disagree on something else.
I ALREADY HAVE A WILL. Your Will only covers stuff not contracted away. Some types of property pass outside of probate. Jointly-owned property, life insurance or property with a named beneficiary passes outside your Will. A good estate plan can avoid probate, save estate taxes, keep money out of the hands of an 18-year-old so they can’t blow it on a Ferrari, and appoint someone to act for you if you become disabled.
I’M FINISHED. No, you’re not! Review your estate plan periodically or whenever you have a major life change. Major changes include hitting the Power Ball, getting married, divorced, or having kids. Life changes… and your estate plan needs to change too.