Do you realize how important it can be to have an estate plan in place? The recent spread of COVID-19 is a stark reminder about how unpredictable life can be and how the tragedy of serious illness can strike seemingly out of nowhere. Let us take these unprecedented times as an opportunity to focus on what we can control.
An estate plan is not only something you can control, but it can help ensure that your wishes for the future are honored. In addition, it can put important protections in place for you and your family’s health and financial future. Take a moment to read this article as we discuss three reasons to stop procrastinating about your estate plan.
1. You do not have to be old, rich, or have a family for estate planning to be important. There are many common misconceptions about estate planning, one of which is that it is only for old, wealthy people. In fact, few things could be further from the truth. This is because an estate plan is more than a legal mechanism for the distribution of your assets after your death. It can be used as a legal strategy for addressing potential and inevitable events. In addition to your death, these include serious injury and catastrophic illness. Accordingly, any legally competent adult can and should make an estate plan. Furthermore, any legally competent adult can also amend their estate plan to address changing circumstances over time.
2. An estate plan can allow you to have control over your health care decisions, even in the event of incapacitation. One of the most convincing reasons to create an estate plan is that it gives you control over healthcare decisions even in certain, dire circumstances. For instance, a living will allows you to communicate treatment preferences to medical professionals even in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. Additionally, a health care surrogate allows you to name a trusted individual to make health care decisions on your behalf should you be incapable of doing so. Ideally, this is someone who respects your wishes and is committed to conveying them for you if necessary.
3. Your wishes may not be honored without an estate plan in place. Courts will intervene in the absence of an estate plan. Without an estate plan, you have no control over how your assets are allocated after you die. The bottom line is that applicable state laws dictate what happens to your estate in the absence of a Will or other such documents. Courts act accordingly. This means that your family may not be provided for in accordance with your wishes.
Now that you know why it is so important to have an estate plan, what are you waiting for? Contact our law firm for help creating or amending one, today.