If you are like many others, you may think that you do not need an estate plan or will until you hit your 50s, 60s or older. However, you have probably realized that every day is a gift, and tomorrow is not guaranteed.
You can protect your heirs and mitigate or eliminate any probate challenges by drafting a will. These are reasons you should consider drafting your estate plan regardless of your health and age.
Honors your final wishes
If you pass away without a will, the local court determines how to divide your property, money, insurance and other valuables. This can also cause problems among family members who may feel tempted to fight over these assets. You may designate charitable distributions.
You can include your funeral plans as well. Finally, you should designate the person who will manage and administer your estate.
Protects your children and yourself
In your will, you should name a guardian for your minor children. Your designation protects your children and should prevent them from going through painful custody or guardianship battles. In addition, you can designate where your pets will go.
When you fill out a will, you should also complete a living will and name financial, legal and medical powers of attorney in case you experience incapacitation and cannot make decisions or care for yourself or your minor children.
Reduces the tax burden on your heirs
When you properly plan your estate, you can also reduce the tax burden on your heirs. For example, donating to charities can reduce their inheritance taxes.
To help ensure that your heirs and the court respect your final desires, update your estate plan and will regularly, at least every five years, especially if your financial situation, assets or personal situation change.