It’s Never too Early to Begin Planning Your Estate

estate planning

BE PREPARED–The Boy Scouts of America hold this motto at their core, and it’s great advice for non-scouts as well. Life has a way of throwing unexpected events at you such as personal injury and divorce (which might result in the need for a name change). The question isn’t if any unforeseen life events will occur, but if you and your loved ones will BE PREPARED for them.

When it comes to making your end-of-life plans and preparing your estate, you will consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to put your plans on paper. Currently, only 55 percent of U.S. adults have a will. Of those Americans with a will, over 90 percent are over age 60. While it’s true that it’s better late than never to make a plan, it’s wise to make sure that you meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to begin estate planning as soon as possible. The estate planning process can take a while, so it’s advisable to start it at a time when you’re healthy and not in immediate need of a will. Getting started with the estate planning process can help you and your family overcome the hardship of life’s unexpected events in many ways. Here are four benefits to estate planning:

  1. A living will. A living will, also known as a medical directive, is a separate document from your will. While your will is what directs the distribution of your assets when you pass away, a living will explains what kind of medical care you wish to receive if you are ever incapacitated and unable to express your own wishes. Your family can avoid conflict and the burden of deciding what you would want since your wishes for medical care are expressly written in your living will.
  2. Predetermined custody of your children. If you have children, their well-being and future are some of your biggest concerns. No one is equipped to make as informed a decision as you about who should take custody of your minor children in the event of your passing. When you plan your estate, you can lay out a clear plan for your children’s future if you were to no longer be in the picture.
  3. Simplified probate process. Probate is the legal transferring of assets after a person’s passing. Regardless of the existence of a will, every estate has to go through probate. Estates with wills are much easier (and quicker) for the court to process. Use a qualified estate attorney to help you draft a will that lets your family avoid a more lengthy and expensive probate process.
  4. A will and testament. The aftermath of a death in the family can wreak havoc on relationships, even in the closest of families. During these emotionally tense times, it can be especially difficult for families to deal with some of the decisions that were made by the lost loved one or the current decisions made by the executor of the will. When you have a well crafted and comprehensive will, your end-of-life plans are expressly laid out with very little room for disagreement.

Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee for any of us. Conversations about end-of-life matters are difficult to have, which is why it’s imperative to have a knowledgeable and objective third party involved. It’s only human to want to put off estate planning for as long as possible, but getting it started as soon as possible is the best way to make sure that you and your loved ones ARE PREPARED. Contact an estate planning attorney near you today and start the process of putting your end-of-life matters in order.

If you live in Brownstown, Indianapolis, Seymour, Bloomington, Columbus, Jeffersonville or any other city or town in Jackson County, Indiana and want to get started on planning your estate, you can turn to Miller Law. Zach Miller is an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate estate planning attorney, ready to help you make these important decisions and increase your peace of mind. Join the monthly newsletter and never miss an update from Miller Law.

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