Estate planning can help individuals take their interests and wishes and put them in fine print for the future. That way, when someone passes on, their assets and property have a much better chance of going to the desired destinations. It can also help keep the courts out of personal affairs after death, as well as provide a sense of organization in one’s life.
Still, many people shy away from estate planning. It may be because of assumptions like these:
- Whatever they leave behind will go to their spouse automatically.
- As long as they have a will, they’ll be okay.
A spouse will likely be involved in the passing of a legacy, but in order to maximize what they receive, as well as making it as easy as possible, estate planning can be critical.
While, yes, a will is a great first step forward, there is much more to estate planning than that, to the benefit of an individual and their next of kin. Not only is there more than just a will, but the courts may question the will’s validity if proper procedure is not evident.
The more thorough one is, the better off their family will typically be.
But being thorough might sound intimidating. Another reason people may not bother estate planning is because putting one’s legacy in fine print is a big task. However, one of the benefits of estate planning is nothing needs to be set in stone right away. Individuals often update their estate plans over the years, so making any kind of start is better than having no sort of plan at all.
And for those who don’t even know how to start, it can be helpful to pose this question:
“If I died tomorrow, how would I want to be remembered and what are the most important things I can pass on to my beneficiaries?”
Often, whatever first thoughts come to mind can be a great start and can form the beginning basis of an estate plan.
But everyday citizens can’t be expected to have in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of planning for the future. That’s exactly why seeking out a legal professional can be so crucial – not just someone who dabbles in estate planning, but rather someone who works with it every day and knows about proper procedure and recent regulation changes. Having a plan, no matter what state it begins in, can begin to provide a sense of security going forward.
The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.
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