Especially if you are young, you may not have considered creating an estate plan. However, creating an estate plan—whether that plan is a straightforward will or uses other tools to create a more comprehensive set of guidelines for your estate—can benefit you at any time of your life.
You can make your own decisions.
Your estate involves your home, the money that you have earned throughout your career and possibly your business. Building an estate plan allows you to define how you want your property divided, who you want to inherit and who you want to act as your representative when your estate is divided. Estate planning also allows you to name guardians for your children if they are underage at the time of your death.
Without an estate plan, on the other hand, your estate will be divided according to New York law. This can leave many of the people you care about, including stepchildren and foster children, friends, more distant relatives like your cousins and many others. You will also not be able to leave specific assets like your business to the people you choose.
You can reduce the cost to your family.
When you do not have a clear plan in place, it can take significant time and money to distribute your estate. Professional fees and court costs during a lengthy probate process can have an impact on how much your loved ones will receive, and additional taxes can impact that even further.
In addition, as the New York Times notes, if you were to pass away suddenly the cost of that unforeseen challenge can be even greater. Estate planning can decrease the impact of this kind of sudden loss.
You can have confidence that you are prepared for whatever happens.
None of us can control the future. However, with an estate plan, you can be confident that your wishes will be respected if you were to pass away in an accident or a sudden illness. No matter who matters most to you, a carefully crafted estate plan allows you to have peace of mind today and protect and provide for your loved ones tomorrow.