There are studies and surveys conducted periodically that always come up with the same findings: Far too many American adults are going through life without any estate planning documents. If you are one of them, you may want to take action sooner rather than later. Let’s look at three compelling reasons why you should plan your estate.
There Are No Guarantees
One reason why a lot of people go through life without planning ahead for something that is definitely going to happen to all of us is the notion that there will always be time later on. Indeed, the life expectancy for Americans is right around 78 years. However, this does not mean that you should wait until you are 75 to plan your estate.
Sadly, people of all ages pass away every day, and there are no guarantees. If you have a spouse or significant other, you should certainly take protective measures, and this is even more important if you have children.
Provide for Everyone You Love
If you were to die without an estate plan, after final debts were paid, the state would ultimately distribute your resources under intestate succession laws. Under these circumstances, it is quite possible that people that you love could be disinherited or shortchanged.
When you take the time to plan your estate, you can be certain that everyone that you care about is provided for in accordance with your wishes. You can also make sure that sentimental items get into the appropriate hands.
We should point out the fact that you can include spendthrift protections in your estate plan if you are concerned about the money management capabilities of a family member. On the other hand, if a lump sum is handed over by the state, it could be squandered, and a loved one could suffer financial hardships later on.
Address End-of-Life Issues
The last compelling reason that we will look at here is the matter of incapacity planning. A significant percentage of people become unable to communicate decisions late in their lives. To account for this, you could execute advance directives for health care.
One directive is the legal document called a living will. You use this type of will to state your preferences regarding the implementation of life-sustaining measures. A durable power of attorney for health care or health care proxy could be added to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you ever become unable to make them on your own.
You can also account for financial decision-making through the inclusion of a durable financial power of attorney.
Now Is the Time to Take Action
Our firm can help if you are ready to put an estate plan in place. We offer no obligation consultations, and you can contact us through the following link to set up an appointment: Grand Forks ND Estate Planning Attorneys.