Do You Have an Estate Plan in Place? Learn Why Estate Planning is Important
Over half of the adults in America currently do not have a will. This can cause many problems if tragedy were to strike. Unfortunately, bad things can happen at any time and it is best to be prepared for anything that could happen. Taking the time to get your affairs in order is one of the best things that you can do for your family.
If you pass away without a will, the state law will determine who gets all of your assets. If you are single and do not have any children, your estate may go to your siblings or parents. If you are married, your assets may go to your spouse or could be split between your current spouse and your children of another marriage. If you are in a relationship, but not married, your estate will go to your biological family and not to your partner. In some cases, this may not be exactly what you wanted.
Estate planning is important for everyone, but is especially important for unmarried couples as well as blended families. Most state laws awards all assets to biological relatives when there is no will in place.
What You Need in an Estate Plan
What is needed in an estate plan will depend on the type of assets that you have as well as your particular family situation. If you own a business it is important to set up a succession plan. For those who have children with special needs a trust may need to be created to make sure that the child is taken care of. It is important to note that there are estate options available no matter what your income level may be and no matter how you would like your estate to be distributed when you pass away. Here are some things to consider for your estate plan:
- Guardianship for minor children
- Medical power of attorney
- Living will
- Financial power of attorney
- Tax planning professional
- Assets and how they are held
The best thing that you can do is contact an estate planning attorney to help you through all of the legal aspects of creating your will and the plan for your estate. At Bird and Fugal we understand the legality of these documents and will make sure that everything is taken care of for you and that your assets are distributed the way that you want them to be.
After you have put your estate plan together with us, it is important to make sure that you review it from time to time as your life changes. It is a good idea to check it at least once every five years. Heirs may pass away or remarry, the person named as executor may no longer be capable, or a number of other life changes may occur, resulting in changes being necessary.