It is said that more than half of Americans don’t have an estate plan, and you may be one of them. People fail to get to this important task for a variety of reasons such as not wanting to contemplate death, thinking they have plenty of time to get to it and more.
However, one reason why many people, perhaps you included, don’t have an estate plan is because you think only wealthy people and celebrities need one. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every adult here in California and across the country could benefit from making these arrangements.
What an estate plan does for you
While an estate plan does provide for the distribution of your assets, it does so much more than that. Some of the benefits estate planning gives you are listed below:
- You could name a guardian for your children who you want to care for them in the event of your death. Otherwise, the court will decide who takes on this important task, and it may not be someone you would approve of.
- You get to name the executor of your estate. Again, if you fail to make this appointment, the court does it for you.
- If you want to keep your affairs private, you could set up your plan to avoid at least the bulk of your estate going through probate.
- You could arrange it so that the bulk of your estate, if not all of it, transfers to your heirs and beneficiaries without having to wait for the probate process to end.
- You could protect the people you love and support even in death.
- You could make sure that certain property goes to particular people. For instance, if you want your daughter to have your china, you can specifically gift it to her.
- You can arrange for someone to make health care and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- You can express your wishes regarding funeral arrangements and even leave money to cover the expenses.
- If you have pets, you can appoint someone to care for them as well. Moreover, you can leave that person a sum of money for the care of your pets.
As you can see, estate plans do much more than just distribute your assets. Nothing mentioned above has anything to do with being rich or owning a lot of property. Instead, it’s about protecting your interests and providing for your loved ones even in death.