There is no way out of it; everyone dies eventually. While this may be an uncomfortable subject, it requires discussion at some point because, when a person passes away, their family must pick up the pieces and try to settle their estate. It is far easier for them to do this if an estate plan is in place. Sadly, there are likely more adults in Illinois without estate plans in place than there are with such plans prepared.
According to a survey conducted by LegalZoom, between 50% and 60% of Americans are without a will. Why? Many people don’t want to think about it; some feel they have time to do it later, and others believe it isn’t necessary for their situation. Regardless of their reason for not having a will, they may not realize the trouble failing to have one could cause their loved ones later.
Reasons to get estate planning done
There are at least three good reasons to get estate planning done. They are:
- Personal protection
- Protecting minors
- Asset protection
An estate plan is more than just naming beneficiaries. It involves creating Powers of Attorney, which give a specific person the right to make decisions regarding your health or finances when you cannot do so due to incapacitation. If you have minor children, it allows you to designate a guardian, so that someone you know and trust raises them in the event of your death or incapacitation. Finally, it protects your assets and makes sure they go to whom you wish when the time comes.
Keep it up-to-date
After you take the time to establish an estate plan, make sure to keep it up-to-date. Life and law changes can make an estate plan useless if one does not make adjustments when necessary.
Make sure beneficiaries know where it is
You don’t have to tell your loved ones about your estate plan if you don’t want to, but it is good to make sure your beneficiaries know where it is so, when needed, it is easily located. It won’t do you or your loved ones any good if no one other than yourself knows it exists and where to find it.
Worth your time
Preparing an estate plan is worth your time. The sooner you do it, the better for you and your loved ones.