Gordon Law

Why Delay Estate Planning

Why Delay Estate Planning? Understanding the Urgency and Necessity

The reality of life’s end is unavoidable and thinking about it can be daunting. Yet, a surprising 74% of Americans lack any estate planning, leaving their future uncertain. With only 26% having taken steps to prepare, and a mere 75% of those having only a Will, it’s clear that proactive measures are scant. The true fear isn’t death itself but the chaos and hardship that lack of planning can cause your loved ones. Knowledge is power—understanding what happens without estate planning can be the key to overcoming fear and securing your legacy. Let’s explore why estate planning is essential and how it safeguards not just your assets, but also your family’s future.

IF YOU CHOSE NOT TO DECIDE, YOU STILL HAVE MADE A CHOICE  – Freewill by Rush.

If you die without any estate planning, at least one court will have to be involved to address things for you and your family.  If you have minor children, a court may be required to decide with whom they live.  A court will direct that your assets be sold and go to your closest relatives – even if you don’t know or like them.  If you do not have relatives that a court can find, the state gets your assets.

WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE’S A WAY – IT’S JUST A BAD WAY

 A Will is a written document that says who gets what of your assets.  While a Will is better than nothing, a Will is not sufficient for most people.  The problems with a Will are that upon your death, there will still need to be court proceedings called probate.  Those proceedings will be public.  Most importantly, they are time-consuming and expensive.  If your family needs to access accounts or other assets, it can take months if not longer for them to get what they need.  Also, at a time when they should be grieving and healing, they will have to deal with lawyers, appraisers and the court system.

I’VE GOT THE POWER – The Power by Snap!

With or without a Will, you should have powers of attorney.  These documents allow for others to speak for you and address your financial and health-related matters if you are unable to speak for yourself.  Powers of attorney do not do anything to pass assets or take care of matters once you pass away.  Any rights under such documents end when your life ends.

TRUST ME….YOU NEED A TRUST

People only think that trusts are for the ultra-wealthy.  The truth is that if you have a child; a home; a business or anyone you love, a trust is for you.  A trust allows for you to maintain and control your assets while you are alive and to provide for guardianship and the transfer your assets without the need of lawyers, a court, or any other obstructions.  A properly created and funded trust will eliminate the need for probate.  Will allow immediate transfer and access to assets.  Your privacy, and that of your loved ones, is maintained.  Mostly, this is a gift to the people you love to enable them to grieve and heal without having to be sidelined by lawyers and probate proceedings.

UNIQUE TRUSTS

Typically, when people talk about trusts, they are talking about revocable or irrevocable trusts.  While we can go into detail on those, today, we’d like to explore some unique types of trusts beyond that binary structure.  Special Needs Trusts and Pet Trusts.

A Special Needs Trust is a unique trust that you can set up for someone who may have physical or mental disabilities.  These types of trusts help to create financial support for someone who may need such assistance.  If drafted correctly, a Special Needs Trust can still enable the beneficiary to receive government assistance.  

Have you considered what would happen to your pet if you passed away?  A Pet Trust provides for the care and maintenance of your pet in the event of your disability or death.  Your pet is a part of your family will need care after you pass away.

There is no reason to wait to start your estate planning.  For those in your life that you love and care for, make sure that your legacy is passed on with certainty and ease.  Seven out of ten Americans have indicated that they want estate planning but just have not done it yet.  What are you waiting for?

Start the process today! Download our free questionnaire to get you started. 

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