We assume that we don’t need to create an estate plan today. You can put it off until tomorrow, right? Drafting that will or creating that trust sounds daunting. When “tomorrow” comes, you can put it off again. Eventually everything falls into a holding pattern. It’s the easiest thing in the world not to do something, isn’t it? Put something off long enough and it fades into the background.
What are the potential consequences if we fail to make a choice on estate planning? Consider this: by dying without a will or a trust, you have forced the state (under its intestate succession laws) to create a plan for you. These laws are rigid. There is no guarantee that your possessions will be distributed how you want them to be. For example, your assets could end up in the hands of someone who does not share your beliefs, or who has even been outright cruel to you during life. This may also mean that your loved ones don’t receive necessary financial support.
So what are you actually giving up by not planning your estate?
- The ability to decide who gets your assets.
- The right to decide how much of your assets an heir receives.
- The opportunity to decide who will act as the guardian of any children under the age of 18.
Why is a will or trust important to you? Maybe it’s about the money. More commonly, it’s about naming a guardian for children or ensuring that a loved one will receive financial support without losing necessary assistance. Remember: planning prevents pain. Without a plan you’re simply hoping for the best. And even if things eventually work out okay, a lack of planning invites hardship and headaches into the lives of our loved ones.
Even young, healthy people can benefit from an estate plan. New parents tend to find the naming of guardians particularly important.
If you need some help with this, contact the Slaton Schauer Law Firm here or give us a call at (512) 258-9455. Either Regina Schauer or I can help plan your future– we’re a small family business, and we offer highly individual service. This means that you’ll have someone by your side who can answer your questions, provide guidance, and help you create a will and/or trust that suits you.