Having an estate plan is important, no matter your age or how much money you have. If something happened to you tomorrow, would your loved ones know what to do?
Would they know how to access your accounts, pay your bills or handle your property? Would they know who should care for your children?
If you don’t have an estate plan, your family will have to figure all of this out on their own at a time when they are already grieving.
An estate plan can give you peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes. Here are 10 more reasons why you should update your estate plan:
- You’ve recently married or divorced– Marriage or divorce is a big life change that should be reflected in your estate plan. If you have a will, it probably names your former spouse as your executor and primary beneficiary.
- You have children– If you have minor children, you need to name a guardian in your estate plan. This is the person who will raise your children if something happens to you. You should also set up a trust to provide for your children’s financial needs.
- You have significant assets– If you have a lot of property or money, you need to make sure it goes to the people you want it to go to. Without an estate plan, the state will decide how your assets are distributed.
- You have a business– If you own a business, you need to make sure it will be taken care of if something happens to you. When creating an estate plan in Fort Worth or elsewhere, you can specify who will take over the business and how it will be structured. This can help your business survive after you’re gone.
- You want to avoid probate– Probate is the legal process of distributing your estate after you die. It can be expensive and time-consuming, and it’s often public. With a good estate plan, you can avoid probate altogether.
- You have specific wishes for your funeral– If you have any specific requests for your funeral or cremation, you need to make them known in your estate plan. Otherwise, your family will have to make these decisions on their own.
- You want to donate to charity– If you want to make a charitable donation after you die, you need to include it in your estate plan. Otherwise, your family will decide how to distribute your assets. You can also set up a charitable trust to provide for a charity of your choice.
- You have pets– If you have pets, you need to make arrangements for their care in your estate plan. This includes specifying who will take care of them and how they will be taken care of financially. You can even set up a pet trust to provide for your furry friends.
- You have debt– If you die with debt, your estate will be responsible for paying it off. You can avoid this by including provisions in your estate plan to pay off your debts. You can also specify how you want your assets to be used to pay off your debts.
- You want to avoid family conflict– One of the best things about estate planning is that it can help avoid family conflict. By specifying your wishes in a legal document, you can avoid disputes among your loved ones. This can save your family a lot of heartache and headache in the future.
If you don’t have an estate plan, now is the time to create one. It’s important to make your wishes known and to have a plan in place in case something happens to you. An estate planner can help you create a custom estate plan that meets your specific needs.
On the other hand, if you already have an estate plan, it’s important to review it periodically and make sure it still meets your needs. Estate plans should be reviewed every few years or whenever there is a major life change, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or death of a spouse.
If you need help updating your estate plan, contact a qualified estate planning attorney in your area.