I don’t have to get hit over the head…
There are many unpleasant topics, and estate planning is at the top of the list. How do I know? According to Legal Zoom, only 33% of U.S. adults have a Will, or an Estate Plan. When I ask clients if they have an Estate Plan, it usually results in a look of terror. I know, estate planning is usually associated with death, and that’s not pleasant. Here’s a fact – we’re not getting out of this world alive!
Staying In Control
I’d like to encourage you to think of estate planning as keeping your hands on the wheel and maintaining control. After all, you worked tirelessly to build a life of comfort and security for yourself and/or your loved ones. But what happens if you stop coming down for breakfast? Without a proper estate plan, the legacy you've worked so hard to create is most likely in jeopardy.
This year, I lost 2 relatives who died without having a will or estate plan. These events reminded me how important it is to have your financial affairs in order. I’m hoping that sharing this will inspire you to either create an estate plan, or have your existing plan reviewed.
It Didn't Have To Be This Way
Earlier this year, my mother’s only brother passed away. He was the last of her siblings to die. My uncle’s estate is small, but large enough to create chaos when you leave the planet without a plan. Bills can’t get paid, property can’t get sold, and other assets can’t get distributed according to his “verbal” wishes. His estate is now in "Probate Jail".
Why We Wait
The process of settling an estate without a will is cumbersome and exhausting. His estate is a hot mess, and there’s no need for it. Each state has their own Intestate or Probate laws. Massachusetts (for example) has an Intestate Succession Plan where the state determines who gets what. Chances are, the state’s decision won’t be in alignment with yours.
Having an estate plan (or at a minimum, a Will) will protect your loved ones and give you peace of mind, knowing your wishes are known, and your legacy secured. Usually, the process of creating estate documents is done with an attorney. If this is standing in your way, there are online resources available.
If you're in the 67% category of people without an estate plan, support is available. If estate planning, or any financial planning has spent too much time on your "To Do" list, I'd love to help! Simply click the button below to schedule a free "Learn More" conversation. This is a stress-free way to get your questions answered, and at a minimum, walk away with clear direction on what you need to do next to get your financial house in order.
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