Every adult needs an estate plan: it is as simple as that. Although some people become more aware of the importance of estate planning when they become parents, attain financial wealth, or reach their sunset years, it is important to note that estate plans are for everyone, not just parents, wealthy people, and the elderly. Although it can be difficult to contemplate your own death, the importance of estate planning should outweigh any reservations you may have. To protect your family and ensure your own peace of mind, consider building an estate plan today.
Importance of Estate Planning
If you are shrugging your shoulders right now, assuming that you can wait until retirement to establish an estate plan, consider all of the benefits that come along with a carefully considered plan for your estate:
- You can protect your children. If you have a minor child, nominate a personal guardian to be responsible for the child’s upbringing in the event that both of your child’s parents pass away before his or her 18th birthday. If you do not account for guardianship in your estate plan, a court may decide who should be your child’s guardian without your input.
- You can avoid probate. Using an estate plan, you can avoid, minimize, or expedite the probate process, so that your beneficiaries receive your assets as quickly and simply as possible. If this is important to you, consider using a revocable living trust or designating transfer-on-death or pay-on-death beneficiaries for your assets.
- You can decide what will happen if you become incapacitated. In your estate plan, you can dictate what you would like to happen in the event that you someday become mentally or physically incapacitated. Use a living will and durable healthcare power of attorney to decide in advance who you would like to make important decisions about your health if you cannot. A financial power of attorney allows you to choose someone to oversee your finances if you are unable to do so.
- You can select an executor/trustee for your estate. Choose someone you trust to make important decisions regarding your estate, including finding and managing your assets, notifying banks and government agencies of your death, paying continuing expenses, paying debts and taxes, and supervising the distribution of your property.
- You can provide loved ones with support. With an estate plan,you can create trust funds for family members to ensure that they receive financial support after you’re gone. For example, you could provide for a disabled child, an elderly parent, or a grandchild.
Have you prepared an estate plan yet? If not, now is the time to act. When you’re ready to build your personalized plan, please contact Replogle, Tyrrell, & Robertson, LLC. Our dedicated attorneys can help you decide which legal devices to use, and we will employ our experience and expertise to help you plan for the future. To get started, give us a call at 417-859-3979 (Marshfield office) or 417-893-5121 (Springfield office) or contact us online.