Don’t think about your estate planning as something you just need to do for yourself. Think of it as something that you need to do for your family. After all, they’re the ones who are going to see the negative consequences if you do not.
Say that you put off your estate planning, as a lot of people do. Then you either pass away or suffer from some sort of medical incapacitation that makes the planning impossible. For your family, this means:
- They have to attempt to guess at what you would have wanted
- It wastes a lot of time and energy
- They may get into long-lasting disputes if they do not agree on a course of action
- Your estate could lose a lot during probate
- They may have to pay more in taxes than they would have with careful planning
- They have to sort it all out on their own
Yes, you want an estate plan to make sure that they honor your wishes. As you can see, though, it goes far beyond ensuring that they do what you desire. You also just want to help them avoid these negative outcomes and move smoothly through what can be a stressful and emotional time. When things get complicated, it can cause a litany of family problems that, unfortunately, become the real legacy that you leave to your kids.
The key is to plan in advance and to know about all of the options you have to put your family first. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take if it’s time to get started.