While most people have heard about the basics of estate planning, like wills and healthcare directives, many have not taken the initiative to create their own legal documents. A recent study found that nearly 60% of American adults do not have any kind of estate plan in place. This may be because, in our culture, we simply don’t want to think about death, but we’re also quite good at procrastination! Many people intend to do their estate planning, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If this sounds like you, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t wait any more, to get these vital legal documents on file:
- Providing for children
Most individuals don’t start their estate planning until after the age of 50, but most people have children in their 20s and 30s! A comprehensive estate plan is designed to provide for your children and other dependents, so you shouldn’t wait until your kids are grown to fill out your paperwork. If something happens to you while your children are still young, only a clear, concise document will ensure that your wishes are honored and your loved ones are cared for in the ways you’d want. This is especially important for blended families and non-adopted children.
- Accidents happen
While the words “estate planning” and “old age” often go together, the reality is, tragedy can strike at any moment. Your estate plan will give clarity and direction for your loved ones in the event of your incapacitation or untimely death. You may experience serious illness or accidents before you reach your golden years, but starting your legal planning now can give you some peace of mind. Don’t wait until something horrible happens- make sure you outline your medical and financial wishes while you’re still young and healthy.
- Defaults don’t always fit
If you were to die or become severely incapacitated, without a valid estate plan in place, there are a handful of default laws that would come into play. According to your local laws, your assets would be divided based upon certain structures and hierarchies, which may not reflect your true wishes. Your property may be passed on to people that you wouldn’t approve of, while some of your loved ones may be left out of the equation altogether. Don’t rely on the default laws to care for your family! This is especially true for blended families, same-sex couples, unmarried couples, and any non traditional family arrangements.
Are you ready to take an important step forward for your peace of mind? Reach out to us at McKinnon Family Law today and ask for your free consultation.