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3 Reasons to Do Your Estate Planning ASAP

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Did you know 56% of Americans say estate planning is vital? But only 33% of US adults have gone through it. Considering the importance of getting your affairs in order, you don’t want to be one of the many people who recognise the value of estate planning but don’t take action.

Estate planning involves establishing a process for managing and distributing one’s estate while one can still do so. Waiting until incapacitation or death isn’t an option. The odds are that you’d prefer to have a say over how your assets are distributed – so, estate planning is a must.

1. Ensure your wishes are honoured

You can ensure your wishes are honored when you do estate planning. The government will decide how to distribute your estate if you die without a will. That means people you want to benefit may not, and people you don’t want to have your assets may get them anyway. 

When tackling estate planning, you have control over who gets what. Do you have family heirlooms that you want to stay in the family? You can ensure that’s the case. Do you want friends to benefit from your estate? You can ensure they’re not excluded. You have the right to decide how assets you worked hard for are allocated — but you need to plan your estate first.

When preparing a will, you can select the executor. That’s the person who will handle your estate when you’re unable to do so because of incapacitation or death.

2. Safeguard your dependents

Estate planning is also an excellent way to provide for your dependents. If you have minors, you can appoint guardians so they are taken care of after your passing. Get the permission of the guardians you choose to care for your dependents so they’re not taken by surprise. 

Failing to select a guardian is a mistake since, if you don’t, the courts will choose one for you. That’s like rolling dice since the courts might choose someone you would have never considered. 

Yet another way estate planning can safeguard your kids is by allowing you to set up a trust. You can set aside money your minor children can access when they reach a certain age. They can get all the cash at once or receive it at different stages so they don’t waste it all.

3. Prevent family from bickering over your assets

When families lose a loved one, the last thing they should do is bicker over the deceased relative’s estate. But if estate planning isn’t in place, that’s exactly what can happen. It happens far too often. And it’s the sort of thing that can separate families and create long-lasting discord. 

You can help reduce the odds of conflict in the family by estate planning. Take the time to plan how your assets are distributed. While some of your loved ones may be unhappy about your choices, an estate plan will crystallise your wishes and reduce the chances of a court challenge.

A court of law is likely to honor estate planning that’s done correctly. That’s one reason to retain the services of a lawyer to help you. If there are errors or omissions, there’s a possibility of a successful court damage that essentially voids your estate plan. A lawyer experienced in helping clients prepare estate plans will ensure the courts respect your wishes.

These are three reasons you should do estate planning if you haven’t already done so. It’s best to plan for the worst while hoping for the best. A lawyer can help you create your estate plan and update it if there are things you want to change down the road.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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