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Why You DO Need An Estate Plan

In our work as estate planning attorneys, we meet with Minnesotans daily who don’t have a will, living trust, or any other estate planning documents in place. They aren’t always sure they need an estate plan in place. These people will often give a laundry list of reasons why they’ve put off planning, explaining: “I don’t have very many assets to plan for,” or “my net worth doesn’t really justify extensive planning.” But the reality is that while our assets make up our estates, they are not actually the reason we should create an estate plan. We create wills, living trusts, and other essential planning documents to protect our families and loved ones. While it’s unpleasant to consider our own mortality, the truth is that any one of us could face an incapacitating (or even fatal) illness or injury at any time. Without a properly designed estate plan in place, we risk leaving our family, friends, and loved ones in an extremely vulnerable position as they cope with a crisis while also grieving a deep loss.

An Estate Plan Benefits You and Your Loved Ones

Estate planning is more than just a legal document stating where your assets will go when you pass away. An estate plan is a tool kit you give to your loved ones that will help them navigate the difficulties we are faced with when a loved one is incapacitated or passes away.

A comprehensive estate plan will provide clarity by:

  • Naming the right people to take care of you if you’re incapacitated
  • Naming the right people to settle your estate after your passing
  • Making sure that your assets go to the right people at the right time
  • Taking action to create an estate plan that documents your wishes now can help you to protect the people you care for most and preserve a lasting legacy

If you’re unsure where to begin to create a plan for your loved ones, here are a few simple steps you can take now to avoid problems down the road:

  • Set a goal to create an estate plan this year – no more procrastinating!
  • Create a list of your major assets.
  • Consider which family members, friends, or loved ones you may want to serve a role in your plan.

You’ll want to consider who is well-suited to:

  • Help you make medical decisions in the event of incapacity
  • Help you make legal or financial decisions in the event of incapacity
  • Take care of your minor children in the event of an emergency, incapacity, or death
  • Meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to help create a plan that accomplishes your goals and addresses your concerns.

18 thoughts on “Why You DO Need An Estate Plan”

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