Vital Reasons Why It Is a Must to Invest in Estate Plan
Those who refuse to create an estate plan or put it off often come up with a series of rationalizations. For example, your mind can tell you that you’re being too prideful and that you shouldn’t have to deal with such problems at your age. It may say that you don’t need a plan because of your advanced age or because you don’t have any property trusts or minor children.
However, these justifications usually come from a mix of denial and a complete lack of education on the subject of estate planning. Once you thoroughly understand the importance of estate planning, the necessity and the benefits are clear. Indeed, it is the first step in creating a proper plan that prevents problems in the event of your death or incapacity.
1. You Will Not Be Able to Control Who Inherits Your Assets
If you die without a will, the court awards your property to whomever the state considers being your closest relatives: spouses, children, parents, siblings, and more distant relatives if you do not have any living parents, siblings, or children. Your property is handed over to the state if no living relatives can be located.
If you want your parents to get all of your belongings when you die, for instance, but also want one of your friends to inherit a special collection of trinkets (for sentimental reasons), you have to have a will. Without a will, the court determines who gets what.
If you’re married, your assets could be distributed, and your loved ones could end up fighting over them if you die without a plan. If you’re married but have children from a previous relationship, court-ordered property distribution could favor someone other than your kids. You might not know your children well enough to give them your assets, but without a plan in place, the state will distribute them instead. You may think this only happens with large amounts of wealth involved, but we see families fighting over property value all the time.
2. Your Family Will Need to Go to Court
If you don’t have a will, or if you only have a plan, your family will be forced to go through probate upon your death. Probate is the legal process for settling an estate when there’s no will at all, and it can take months or even years to complete. Due to the slow and costly process of settling an estate, most families lose almost everything to pay off their debts and taxes and cover the court costs. In many cases, there isn’t enough money left over for anyone to inherit because a major chunk of it has been used to pay off debts or taxed.
If any assets remain, you’ll likely have to pay hefty attorney’s fees and court costs in order to claim them. Worst of all, probate can cause tremendous frustration and stress for your family members. They have to plan the funeral, contact people they were close with and deal with a crowded court system that can be difficult to navigate even in the best of circumstances. In addition, depending on who hears about the proceedings, your family’s private affairs might be made public if probate is handled improperly.
3. You Will Not Be Able to Control Who Gets Custody of Your Children
A lack of a will is one of the most upsetting situations parents of minor children can face. Without a will detailing guardianships and trusts, family members may have no say in who is chosen to care for their minor children. The outcome could be different if the incapacitated parent leaves behind instructions, but if there are no instructions, it could result in someone raising your children, which you’d never have picked.
In short, having a will is necessary to give proper instructions for your assets and for the sake of the people you wish to leave them to. The purpose of creating an estate plan that includes a will is not to get rich upon your death but to make sure that your loved ones are cared for after your passing. The best thing you can do is start planning while you are still alive.
If you are looking for a well-trusted estate planning attorney in Colorado, look no further than our expert practitioners here at Estate Planning Lawyers Colorado. Contact us today for all your estate planning needs, including wills, trusts, probate, and legacy planning!