Who needs an Estate Plan? Everyone.
When do you need an Estate Plan? Now.
You may not think you have an estate, but almost everyone does. Your estate consists of your car, financial accounts, life insurances, personal belongings, home, and interest in a business. Your estate is literally everything you own. You want to control where and when your assets go when you pass. Of course, if you don’t have a plan, the state has a plan for you. But you probably won’t like it.
The hard truth is, we don’t know if or when we, or our loves ones, will become incapacitated or when we will pass away. You need to plan for the eventualities. What do they say about insurance? You don’t need it until you need it? The same theory applies to an Estate Plan.
Imagine this scenario: You and your spouse leave your two-year-old with the babysitter for a beloved and much needed date night. While driving to your favorite restaurant, you chat about what to order, and how nice it is to get out of the house. As you round the corner, out of nowhere a vehicle plows into the passenger side of the car. What happens now? Do you both survive the crash? If not, do you have a living trust or will designating a legal guardian for your child? What happens to your home? Who is the beneficiary of your life insurance? What about all of your digital information? Does anyone know how to access your accounts, what accounts you have, and manage finances for your little one?
If you survive, do you have the mental and physical capacity to do all of the above yourself? If not, what will happen?
Don’t panic. We all put things off. Instead, get motivated to do something about it and prepare. If not for yourself, for everyone you love.
Let’s start with the basic four part Estate Plan:
1. Revocable Living Trust
2. Pour-over Will
3. Healthcare Directive
4. Durable Power of Attorney to handle financial affairs.
Estate plans vary greatly depending on each person’s financial and personal situation, but this plan is the right place to start.