So You Don't Think You Need an Estate Plan…
If the preparation of estate planning has fallen towards the bottom of your to-do list, you are far from alone. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils estimates that only 33% of Americans have estate plans in place.
This year National Estate Planning Awareness Week takes place from October 17 – 23. Although it may seem like a daunting task, an experienced estate planning attorney can guide individuals through the process and help to ensure that they have control over their assets and major life decisions.
Equip Your Loved Ones with a Roadmap
The passing of a family member is never easy, however, when plans are put in place before they are needed, the process is significantly easier to navigate and gives families the gift of celebrating a legacy with a sense of certainty. In addition to protecting financial assets, estate plans also offer individuals the opportunity to outline specific distributions of family heirlooms, vehicles, jewelry and even airline miles.
Benefits During Your Lifetime
Too often, estate planning is neglected until retirement. Having an estate plan at any stage of life allows individuals to be prepared in the event of an emergency. For example, Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property grant peace of mind that a trusted individual is in place to make the right medical or financial decisions on behalf of their loved one.
Keeping Up with the Digital Landscape
Gone are the days of physical bank statements and a tangible paper trail of one’s assets. In 2022, estate plans account for the electronic management of finances and digital assets. Supplying trusted individuals with passwords to your online accounts, including but not limited to the following accounts allows for a smooth administration in the event of lost capacity or passing:
- Banking or financial platforms
- Payment applications like Venmo or CashApp
- Social media
The Only Constant in Life is Change
For those who already have an estate plan in place, consider reviewing it every 3-5 years with a trusted estate planning attorney to determine whether or not modifications should be made.
Families are complex and, along with marriage, divorce or changes in family members, may come the decision to have those developments reflected in your documents. Think of your estate planning documents as living; they are flexible and should encompass the transitions that our families experience. Have you recently acquired property or inherited money from a loved one? Consider taking a second look at how your estate plan could best accommodate your wishes.
Contact an estate planning attorney from Aronberg Goldgehn today to learn how you and your family can best begin preparing for the years to come.