Nobody likes to think about their own death. But no matter how old you are, estate planning is very important. There are three main steps to the process of estate planning: preparing important documents, establishing power of attorney and medical directives, and transferring assets. This is how you’ll make sure your family can maintain their lifestyle and take care of themselves when you’re gone. If you haven’t done any estate planning, now is a good time to do so. Here are some ways that an estate plan can protect your loved ones.
Expecting the Unexpected
You don’t always know when death is coming. Sometimes it can be very quick. Other times, it is a diagnosis that arrives unexpectedly. New cases of cancer are diagnosed every year. About 442.4 out of 100,000 men and women will be diagnosed. If you are one of them, it could be terminal. If you have your estate already planned out, you won’t need to worry about it. Instead, you can focus on your health, as well as spending time with your family. This will protect them by providing them with the opportunity to make memories and spend time with you while they still can. For more sudden deaths, it will make sure that the important things can be taken care of quickly.
Appoint Legal Guardians
If you have children or are a legal guardian in any way, you need to be sure that your children and those you support will be protected in the case of your death. Otherwise, they might end up in social services. Or they could go to a guardian who would not be your first choice to take care of them. During estate planning, you can establish a legal guardian in the case of your death. This will protect your children from ending up in bad situations. Plus, it gives you peace of mind to know that they will continue to have their current love and lifestyle if you were to die.
Leave Them As Much As Possible
When you’re leaving your assets to your loved ones, you want them to get as much money as possible. If you plan ahead, there are ways to reduce the number of fees and taxes they’ll need to pay when they access your money after your death. During estate planning, you’ll learn about the different types of accounts you could open. A GRAT, for instance, minimizes the amount of taxes your heir will have to pay by removing assets from your taxable estate. If you don’t make these kinds of plans in advance, much of your money will go toward taxes rather than caring for your loved one.
Avoid Adding More Stress
Death is stressful. When a loved one dies, there are many practical things to consider as you are grieving. If they don’t leave a will, it can become even more stressful. A lack of estate planning can lead to infighting, legal troubles, and unfair division of assets. If you want to help reduce your loved ones’ stress after your death, make sure you do as much estate planning as is necessary. If you have your wishes clearly stated, as well as legally established, they won’t need to do as much in order to get your money.
Estate planning might not be fun, but it is important. By making plans for the future, you ensure that your loved ones will be protected no matter what happens. Even in the case of sudden death, they can still hold onto their lifestyle and follow through with your wishes.