When you think of estate planning, you might think of wealthy people who have many assets to distribute once they die. Certainly, these people can benefit from estate planning, but it isn’t just for people who have real estate, investments, businesses, or valuable art to pass down. Estate planning is important for many people regardless of age or background. Right now, you may not think you are among them, but you may be surprised to learn that there are several ways estate planning can benefit you:
- It can save time and money- If you die intestate, meaning you die without a will, it will likely be time-consuming and expensive to distribute any assets you have. This is because a local probate court will decide where your assets should go, and this process may involve large fees and lengthy paperwork. As a result, your family could be left with a large financial burden while they are grieving. However, estate planning can help them avoid these problems.
- It can protect you if you become incapacitated- Estate planning isn’t only useful after you have passed; it can also help when you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. For example, a living will can state your wishes for medical care such as life support while a power of attorney allows you to grant another person the legal authority to make certain decisions for you when you are incapacitated.
- It can help reduce conflict within your family. When you take the time to do estate planning before you pass away, you can make it clear what assets you are passing down and to whom. As a result, you may be able to help your family avoid disagreements and fighting.