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5 Reasons to Complete Your Estate Planning

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By Lane Erickson

Most people spend more time planning their vacation or where to eat out than they do their Estate Planning.  Others simply think that they don’t have any wealth or assets to warrant thinking about Estate Planning. The reality though, is that Estate Planning isn’t only for the smart of the rich. Without a plan in place, there could be a long-lasting impact on yourself and loved ones.  Here are 5 reasons to complete your Estate Planning now.

  1. You can Plan and Prepare for Your Own Potential Disability

Estate Planning isn’t just about giving away your money, property and stuff.  It is also planning for your own future.  The reality is that as a society, we are living longer than ever before.  However, with a longer life comes the increased risk that we will have some sort of mental incapacity in our elderly years.  Alzheimer’s, strokes, dementia and other elderly health and/or mental health conditions are at an all-time high.  With a proper Estate Plan in place you will have named a person who will make decisions for your, including financial, business, health care, and others, if you ever become unable to make these decisions for yourself.  If you don’t complete this part of your Estate Planning, your family will likely be forced to have a Court determine who will be your guardian.  This is another area where family disagreements and fights occur, when you don’t have a complete Estate Plan.

  1. You Protect Your Children

When we are young we think we will live forever.  However, even parents of young children die sometimes.  If you are the parent of small children, you need to prepare for the worth thing that could happen: your death. In your own Will, as part of your Estate Planning, you can ensure that your children are taken care of, by the people you choose, if there is no parent who is alive. If you don’t complete this part of your Estate Plan, the courts will step in and decide who will be named as the legal guardians of your children.

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  1. You Decide Who Will Receive Your Belongings

Virtually everyone has property that needs to pass to another at their death. You don’t have to be uber rich to have a home, retirement accounts or other assets. The bottom line is that if you don’t decide who receives the property when you pass away, you won’t have any control as to what happens to the property.  If you don’t do your own Estate Planning, the statutes and/or courts will decide who gets your assets.  This process can take time and can get ugly if your heirs don’t agree. The reality is that statutes and courts don’t know, and usually don’t care about who you think should receive your assets, unless you set it out in a valid Will.

 

  1. You Can Avoid Many Family Problems at Your Death

In our many years of helping families deal with the death of a loved one, we’ve seen many horrible situations where families have disintegrated over money and assets because no Estate Planning was completed.  Family fights, where one heir may think he or she deserves more than another, or where individuals fight over who should be in charge can and do happen.  These fights can get ugly and often end up in court, with family members pitted against each other. With a complete Estate Plan in place, the chances of these types of family fights are most often eliminated.

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  1. You Can Limit or Eliminate Expenses and Time

When you get down to it, Estate Planning is about protecting and providing for your loved ones.  Estate Planning allows you to transfer your assets to the heirs you choose with an eye toward limiting or eliminating as much expenses and time as possible for your heirs. Without an Estate Plan, both the time and the expenses of dealing with your estate could be large and could cause problems for your loved ones.

A complete Estate Plan gives you peace of mind while you are alive.  Additionally, it provides a structured and detailed mechanism for your family and loved ones that will help them in caring for you in your later years and in dealing with your property after you die.  We recommend that everyone have a complete Estate Plan in place.

Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at lve@racinelaw.net.  We will answer your Idaho Estate Planning questions and will help you determine how to meet your personal estate planning needs.

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