DRAFT OR UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN
With the New Year upon us, many of us have reflected on the past year and made goals we are set on achieving in 2019. Year after year, the three most common resolutions are eating healthier, exercising more, and saving more money. What has consistently not made this list is drafting an estate plan. In fact, roughly 6 out of 10 adults have not completed this very important task. Some of the top reasons people give for not drafting their estate plan are as follows:
“I do not anticipate dying anytime soon”
We hear this a lot from our younger clients. However, this has not stopped these same people from getting life insurance in the event something happens to them. It should also not stop them from drafting an estate plan either. Some very important decisions need to be made in the event disaster strikes. Most notably for younger adults is the need to choose a guardian for any minor children.
“I am too busy at the current moment”
This is something that people can probably justify at any point in their lives. My retired parents tell me all the time that they are busier than ever. The point is this – is there ever going to be a great time to start this process? The good news is we are here to help ease the burden in a multitude of ways so that your time spent working on your estate plan will be limited.
“It is too costly to draft an estate plan”
My response to that is very simple – it is too costly to NOT draft an estate plan. If your assets have to go through probate court after your death, in all likelihood your estate would be spending more money on attorneys and court fees than had you drafted an estate plan while you were alive (not to mention all of the other non-monetary costs that go with having to probate your estate).
“Estate plans are only for the affluent”
Whether we like it or not, each and every one of us should have an estate plan in place. Your estate plan allows you to appoint who would make your medical and financial decisions should you become incapacitated during your lifetime. Also, don’t you want to be the one to decide where your hard-earned money goes after your death, no matter the total amount of that hard-earned money? If you fail to make these decisions ahead of time, the State of Michigan has statutes in place that dictate what will happen in these circumstances. Why would you want to leave those decisions up to state law? I suspect the majority of you would not, which is all the more reason you should do something about it.
“I do not want to talk about my family or my money with anyone – let alone an attorney”
This is something many people struggle with throughout the estate planning process. As attorneys, we have seen a multitude of family dynamics and are able to help navigate any situation. We understand that this process is not easy; however, it is necessary if you want your wishes fulfilled upon your incapacity or passing.
Having your affairs in order and dictating your wishes in writing are two of the most important gifts you can ever give to your loved ones. So as we embark on this New Year, think about the importance of drafting these documents and the great feeling it will give you to know that you have planned for the future today.
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