Talking about what will occur in the event of your death is often perceived as a morbid subject. For this reason, many people opt to put off any form of estate planning.
However, not having an estate plan means that it will likely fall on the courts to decide how your property, assets and money are distributed. If this happens, your final wishes may not be fully realized, and the needs of your loved ones may not be satisfied. Retaining control is just one reason to consider an estate plan. Outlined below are three reasons why estate planning is so important.
Your medical needs
Frequently, estate planning is thought of as a will and nothing more. However, the reality is that there’s much more to this process. Having an estate plan means that you can appoint people to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Additionally, through health care directives, you can clarify your preferred type of medical treatment.
Security for your children
Without an estate plan, it will likely be left to the courts to decide who gets custody of your children if something happens to you. Often, the judge may turn over custody to a close family member. However, third parties such as family friends are also typically able to petition the court for custody. Having an estate plan allows you to clearly state who should care for your children in the event of your death.
Estate planning can save time and money
Without legal instruments in place, settling an estate often comes down to probate. The probate process often involves legal representatives attending court on multiple occasions. Additionally, the procedure can often take years to resolve. Needless to say, the amount of time and money spent during probate can be significant. Having your final wishes clearly set out can offer a means of avoiding this.
Estate planning can offer you peace of mind as well as stability for your loved ones. It is also important to remember that you have legal protections.