Estate Planning – Who Needs That? The answer is, everyone!

In our opinion, if you can’t take it with you, then you should very well be able to control it – from wherever you go. After all, you’re the one who worked hard for it.

Here’s the thing, you don’t necessarily have to have a palace, or even a big house, to claim your estate. Think about it this way – do you own a home (no matter how modest), personal property, investments, bank accounts, retirement plans and any interests in a family business or partnership? Do you have children, grandchildren, or a charity to whom you want to leave a token of love? Okay then! Assets such as Life Insurance that have a designated beneficiary are covered, but for most other assets, having a will, or even better, a trust that clearly stipulates who gets what, is critical.

According to a survey from Caring.com, only 4 in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. Of those who do, most are older people. There’s something to the saying “growing older and wiser.” Most likely elders have witnessed the stark reality that having an estate plan is important. In contrast 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64 percent of GenXers (ages 37-52) do not have a will.

It’s equally important to think about your Advance Medical Directive or health care Power of Attorney. If you’ve had, for example, experience working in a hospital setting, you may know first-hand that family don’t always agree, even to a dying family member’s last wishes. So, be proactive about your health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated (deemed unable to make your own decisions). According to the same stated survey, 83 percent of adults over age 72 have this document in place, with only 41 percent of millennials.

From what we know, people don’t usually plan to fail. In the survey, the top two reasons for failure to plan are that 47 percent of the participants just “hadn’t gotten around to it”,  and 29 percent thought that they “don’t have enough assets to leave to anyone”. But, here’s the other thing, when you don’t have a plan, the government does. So who really needs an estate plan? Everyone – final answer!

With a personalized plan in place, you will not fail. Along with getting certain types of tax advantages, you can keep your assets and your family protected (from lawsuits, creditors, the eyes of the public, etc.). Estate planning doesn’t need to be complicated. Our partners have developed an amazing, state of the art technology that keeps your planning right at your fingertips. Take a sneak peak here and then get back to us quickly.

Live prosperously,
Judith Smith