Estate planning is something everyone should consider. By having information in writing, the process of sorting out your belongings and finances is much easier for your family members. However, there are many misconceptions that accompany the mapping of your last wishes. This guide will help you understand how important it is to get it all in writing and why it is something you shouldn't avoid.
Of course, talking about your wishes with those close to you can elicit mixed emotions. Some will think that you are very responsible for sitting down and writing down exactly what you want to do with your belongings and who you want to get the money you are leaving behind. Others don't like to talk about the topic as it reminds them that one day you will be gone. Despite the difficulty of estate planning, this is a necessary step that will ease the burden on your loved ones once you are no longer here.
Assets are small
Everyone automatically thinks of money when they start talking about a will or a trust. Even if you don't have a lot of money right now, there is always a chance that your financial situation will change. Even if you're not talking about a large sum of money, you want to make sure that the right people or groups are getting the funds you leave behind.
Assets aren't just in money. There are other items that are considered "real property". If you own your own home, have investment property such as rental homes or apartment buildings, or if you own farmland, you have real estate. Estate planning will help you put these items in a trust so that your beneficiaries can get ownership of them when you die. If you leave these items out of your trust, it could cost your family thousands of dollars in attorney fees to figure out who should be the owner.
No property to fear
Even if you don't have any property to put in trust for your family, you need to consider what other things you have and create a will. You have assets that belong to you, and while you may think your family can determine who gets what, it can make things easier and less arguing if you put in what you want. If there are any heirlooms that you know a certain member would love, then put it in writing for them to get.
When planning your estate, don't forget about guardianship of minor children. You may have expressed verbally that you want the children to stay with a certain aunt or uncle. However, there could be a custody battle between family members if you don't put it in writing. Then not only will your children have lost their parents, but they also won't know where they are supposed to be. This can make this time even more confusing and painful.
Despite popular belief, an estate without a plan does not lose all of its funds to the benefit of the state. However, this drives the process and makes it much more difficult for family members to go through your death.