It is never too early to begin estate planning, and 2016 is a great year to realize that you need an estate plan right away. Estate plans are something that every capable adult should have in place, regardless of their age or individual circumstances. Some questions can only be answered through a properly created estate planning device, while other questions may not occur to you until you begin the planning process. If you do not have on already, here is why you need an estate plan in 2016.
You Need an Estate Plan in 2016 Because You are Married
As a married couple, your future together will be shaped by numerous factors. Where will you live? Who will care for your children if something were to happen to you? What will you do should one of you become ill? Who has legal authority to act on your behalf?
Though you may have shared your hopes and desires with one another, you both need an estate plan to protect your wishes regardless of what the future holds. A good plan will protect you, your spouse, and ensure that the wishes of both of you will be honored regardless of what the future holds.
You Need an Estate Plan in 2016 Because You Are a Parent
If you have children – especially minor children, you need an estate plan whether you are married or not. A child changes everything, and there are some questions about your child’s future that only a good estate plan can answer. Who, for example, will care for your minor child should you die or lose capacity? If you don’t have an estate plan, you have no way to choose a guardian who will care for the child in your absence or after your death. That often ignites a family feud over who will raise your children and who will oversee the financial arrangements you made for them.
You Need an Estate Plan in 2016 Because You Are an Adult
Let’s say you’re not married and aren’t planning on becoming so. Having a child is not even a blip on your radar. Do you still need an estate plan?
Absolutely, and perhaps more so than parents or married couples. As a single person, you are entirely in control of what happens to your property should you die or who will represent you should you become incapacitated, right? Not exactly.
Should you become incapacitated without an estate plan, it will likely fall to your parents to make decisions on your behalf, regardless of what your wishes are. Similarly, should you die, your parents will likely receive all of your property. Both of these scenarios are true even if you are in a committed relationship or do not have a good relationship with your parents.
In order to change these outcomes, you’ll need to create an estate plan that protects your wishes. 2016 is here!