Estate planning. Something no one ever wants to do, but something that everyone should do. Estate planning is the process of figuring out who will receive all your stuff once you die, as well as who you will have designated to handle all of your remaining responsibilities (also, after you die). Naturally, no one wants to talk about life after their own death but the reality is, we have to. Everyone needs an estate plan otherwise you will have left the burden of your death to your grieving family members. Creating a plan before your death helps remove an extra burden during an already hard time.
Wondering why you need an estate plan? Well the list goes on and on, but I’ve put together my top 7 reasons to help you navigate this journey!
1. You love your family enough to plan for your death
Your loved ones have enough going on after a death, the absolute last thing they need to do, on top of grieving, is also figuring out how to honor you after your death. Loving your family in life, means continuing to love them, even when you’re gone. If our cell phone GPS is a road map of our life, think of your estate plan as a road map in death. You wouldn’t want to leave your family behind without either of those, would you?
2. You saved your family the stress of going through probate (WILL DRAMA)
According to AARP 60% of all adults do not have a will, so 6 out of every 10 people you know, don’t have a will. Here’s the thing, no one wants to talk about death, but the only thing we know about life for certain is that eventually, we will die. All of us. We may not know when, we may not know how, but all of us, will die. Having an estate plan helps to save your family the stress of going through probate AND all of the drama we know comes with wills, or lack thereof.
3. You’ve created a road map to what you want.
Not that we would ever know what went wrong after our death, but there’s something peaceful about knowing that everything will be laid out exactly as we want it to be or maybe that’s just me.
When you create an estate plan you’re taking the uncertainty out of your wishes being followed! There’s a plan to follow for your family, there’s a plan to follow for your assets, and most importantly, your wishes get preserved. There is peace in knowing that with an estate plan there will *usually* be less family drama, and families can focus on things that matter, being together, and celebrating your life.
Take uncertainty out of the unknown for you, and your family. Create a road map so there’s a clear plan for everything.
4. You’ve protected your assets, family, and future.
We spend our whole lives working hard, trying to protect our family, our assets, and working to ensure they have a great future. Creating an estate plan before you die (whether planned or unexpected) allows you to protect assets, family, and future. You get to decide where your assets go, and who you want them to go to, you get to decide how to protect your minor children, and provide for their future, you get to ensure that their needs are taken care of just the way you want them to, as if you’re still there.
Protect your assets and family, your way. Without a plan in place, your assets and family may be at the mercy of the law, and unfortunately, that doesn’t always go as planned. To ensure that what you want goes, it’s best to create a plan now, before it’s too late. It’s also a good idea to remember to update estate plans after big life changes (divorces, deaths, etc.).
5. Save your family time and money
As you’ve probably noticed, not planning for your death can lead to a lot of headaches, drama, and questionable outcomes. Oftentimes, when there’s not an estate plan, working through probate eats up lots of fees. Save your family time and money by creating a plan, it helps you and helps your family navigate through an already difficult and stressful time.
6. Keep your wishes private
It’s hard enough to go through grieving a death, it’s a whole other type of stress when you have to deal with probate. Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies.
Unlike a trust administration, probate is completely public and puts all of your wishes out for the world to see. With trust administration, everything is kept private. There’s no need to prove last will and testament because everything we have is already set in place. It lets your family focus on things that matter, grieving your death, and celebrating your life.
7. Disinheritance for family.
Remember how we just talked about probate? If your assets go to probate, it opens it up for unwanted family members to lay claim to things you don’t want them to have access to. Creating an estate plan helps to prevent unwanted family members from getting an inheritance that you don’t want them to. You’ve worked so hard to build a life, ensure that after life, it goes to who you want. This is just another reminder on why it’s so important to create a road map to your after life.
If those 7 reasons don’t convince you, you need an estate plan, we’re not sure what will! An estate plan is the best way to ensure that when you’re gone, your life is taken care of the way you want them to be.
I specialize in helping you take care of your family by creating an estate plan that honors your wishes. Everyone thinks they have more time to do this, it’s often one of the things most of us put off but if life has taught us anything, it’s that we should prepare for the unexpected. Life is never guaranteed but how we plan for our families future, can be. Let me help you plan your road map.
Jessica Henman, Attorney at Law, is based in Chico, California (born and raised in fact) and is here to help out anyone in California. Give me a call at (530) 520-3109 or email me to get started on your estate plan.
Need something quick and easy, check out my shop to find documents that can help you get started on this process.