It’s amusing how much Hollywood has contributed to the perception that estate planning is only for the wealthy. It’s a clear sign that there have been far too many soap operas and legal dramas built around storylines of families fighting over the massive fortune left behind by a deceased character.
In real life, estate planning is far from being the sole prerogative of the rich. Anyone with assets can create wills, trusts, and other documents that form part of a proper estate plan. If you own property, you should find the best estate planning attorneys so you can prepare yourself and your loved ones for the inevitable.
With proper and timely estate planning, you will be able to distribute your assets according to your wishes. That means the people you intend to leave real estate, belongings, and cash to will get them just like you wanted.
By creating a will, you will be able to appoint someone you completely trust as executor of your estate. Upon your demise, your executor will be legally responsible for the distribution of your assets to beneficiaries as named in your will, paying your remaining financial obligations, and appear in court on behalf of your estate.
You may also include a living will in your estate plan that states, in case you’re no longer able to communicate, how you want your end-of-life medical care to go.
Estate planning also gives you the opportunity to name a guardian for your minor children, if any, in the event of your death.
If you fail or refuse to do any estate planning before your death, the state where you lived and owned property will invoke its intestacy laws and appoint an executor who will administer your estate. In other words, there is no guarantee that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. You also have no say on who will be named guardian for your minor kids because the state will do it for you.
If you don’t want to suffer the consequences of dying without an estate plan, you need to draw up one now. Check out the infographic below for smart strategies that will help you create a solid estate plan.