Most people believe that taking the time for estate planning is a good thing. They think that preserving the financial future of their loved ones is an admirable goal. Perhaps you are not one of these people. Maybe you don’t feel like estate planning is worth your time. If so, then this article is for you. Here are 8 reasons why (you shouldn’t believe) estate planning is a waste of time.
- You Would Rather Spend Your Money on Some Random Law Firm.
It’s true. If you don’t plan for your assets, they fall into the legal system. Through court appointees, probate, and intestate succession, the state law handles all your leftover money. They will likely hire a law firm or the county public administrator’s office to manage the specifics. This will be a firm or a governmental bureaucracy that you don’t know, and you never worked with. Since they have no connection to you or your family, they can charge heavy fees, draining what is left.
- You Completely Trust the Government.
Again, estates without a will or trust fall into the hands of the state. The state becomes responsible for managing your assets. It will probably take its time, having no sense of urgency. Each step they take will probably come with a fee, paid for by the estate. By the time they finalize everything, there might not be much left.
- You Don’t Think Your Property Is Valuable.
You may say to yourself, “My home is worth only $200,000, so why does it matter?” You may believe that your estate is too meager to make a difference. This is simply untrue. Imagine the benefit your loved ones could gain by selling your home. Perhaps you have a valuable set of collectibles that you’ve built since childhood. Someone you know could receive this collection for its sentimental value, or they could sell it off at a high price. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It is for anyone who owns anything.
- You Aren’t Too Worried About What Happens to the Kids.
Estate planning provides for your children financially, and it can also create a plan for who cares for them. There are ways for your relatives to petition the courts for custody, but they are not guaranteed. The court could choose to hand your children over to a professional guardian, a stranger who is paid to care for several children. Your kids could be put into the foster care system or a boarding school, where they have no close connections. Through estate planning, you can name who you want to care for your children.
- You Don’t Care About Your Personal Information.
As adults, we often have a private side. Our secrets can be completely moral and legal, but we still want them unknown. Once the state begins poking through your records, they could uncover just about anything. Your personal, private details will be seen by strangers, and these people may reveal them to your surviving family.
- You Aren’t Concerned About Family In-Fighting.
When your estate is beyond your control, it goes to certain family members along a specific chain. First, it is distributed to your spouse. If you have children, it is shared between your spouse and kids. Without those family members, it goes to your parents, and so on. It can be easy for other relatives to feel slighted, especially if they were left out of your inheritance. This can lead to challenges, courtroom battles, hurt feelings, and broken relationships.
- You Want the Wrong People to Receive Your Property.
Remember your ex-spouse, the one you cut out of your life? How would it feel to know that they might be entitled to some of your estate? Perhaps you are estranged from your parents, and you were raised by a loving aunt or uncle. How would it feel to know these people are left out of intestate succession? What of your stepchildren that you’ve raised since they were very young? They are also left out. Estate planning makes sure that the loved ones of your choice will receive the property they deserve.
- You’d Rather Pay Your Creditors.
Without a solid plan, there will be many entities putting their hands into your estate. Creditors could get much more than they deserve without an estate plan.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
All sarcasm aside, estate planning really is for everyone, not just the wealthy. You have the opportunity now, while you are still here, to protect the people you love after you are gone. Talk to a lawyer today, and start planning for the future of your assets.
For help with estate planning, reach out to our attorney. He has years of experience providing peace of mind for families. You can call our firm at (310) 526-3433 or contact us online.