Contemplating your end-of-life wishes likely causes some internal dissonance. It’s not easy to think about passing away. Even worse is the probability of leaving those you love in a state of worry and confusion on top of their grief.
One common misconception is that an estate plan is just for the wealthy or elderly. However, you would be wise to consider how comprehensive planning is worthwhile for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Putting Thoughts Into Action
There are multiple ways getting your affairs in order may minimize contention down the road while allowing you to take care of the people most important to you. Creating an estate plan can help:
- Protect Your Assets. One of the primary purposes of an estate plan is to distribute your assets – financial or tangible – according to your wishes. Without legal documentation in place, your assets may be subject to a lengthy, costly probate process.
- Provide for Your Family. Would your children be able to maintain their current lifestyle if something unexpectedly claimed your life? Trusts allow you to leave a legacy by setting aside financial support for your spouse, children, or other dependents. It’s also possible to designate guardianship for your minor children so they will receive care from someone who will uphold your specifications.
- Minimize Expenses. Why leave your family with the burden of avoidable costs? Setting up trusts or making use of tax-saving tools could significantly reduce financial strife for your beneficiaries. Planning ahead will also likely save time, money and stress associated with legal processes like probate.
- End-of-Life Wishes. An estate plan is not only about distributing assets; it also allows you to provide legal decisions about your healthcare. You can specify your desires regarding medical treatment, life support, and organ donation through documents like a living will or advance directive.
Benefits of Legal Formalities
Also, consider the satisfaction you’ll probably receive from creating an estate plan. Knowing you took the time to do everything possible to establish a smooth transition for your loved ones can set expectations and provide peace of mind for all involved.