Most Americans usually set some type of New Year’s resolution, whether it’s to eat healthier, exercise more, quit a bad habit, or achieve another worthy goal. It’s definitely not easy to meet your resolutions. If bad habits were easy to break or good habits easy to start, they wouldn’t require a New Year’s pact. But don’t worry! You’ve got this. This New Year’s, commit to writing down your goals and, most importantly, getting back up if you fail. If you accidentally “fall off the wagon,” you can pick up and try again the next day. Every day is a new day.
If you’re in the market for less conventional New Year’s resolutions, you should consider either updating or starting your estate plan. This is a goal that you don’t have to do by yourself—a qualified estate planner can help make it very easy. Not only that, but it’s also an easy-to-fulfill goal, as the process is not arduous at all. Listed below are some reasons that “Estate Plan” should make the list of your New Year’s resolutions.
Your Own Personal Security
Estate planning is way to ensure that your personal property and possessions go into the hands of those you want to see have them. If you die without any plan, it will be left to a court to do this for you. For your own security, you should plan what you want to have happen to your estate. But that’s not all that an estate plan is useful for; you can also make arrangements for when you’re sick or incapacitated.
Embrace “What If?” Thinking
“What if?” thinking is a form of thinking that, usually you don’t want to engage in too often. It involves thinking of the worst-case scenario and extrapolating from that. Before a big job interview or your wedding, you don’t want to find yourself preparing for the worst. But when it comes to your estate, that’s a different story. Putting in place a power of attorney or a healthcare directive for when things go wrong is a good safety plan. If you are so sick or incapacitated that you cannot make decisions for yourself, you want to have a plan for your medical care and financial decisions laid out so that there’s no question as to what you want from your doctor. With estate planning, thinking of the worst-case scenario can benefit you in the long run.
It’s Best for Your Family
Having a plan in place works best for your family. That way, they’re able to know what you want to have done after you pass away without having to guess. When you set up the transfer of assets and assignment of debts yourself, you don’t risk having a court divide up your property unevenly or assign debts unfairly. Particularly if you have minor children, an estate plan that includes guardianship papers will keep your family safe. Estate planning is about more than just your own personal needs; it includes those of your family as well.
Procrastination Works…Until It’s Too Late
If you’re young and have all the time in the world, you might just want to procrastinate estate planning. And that’s fair. Who wants to think about dying? However, the “worst case scenario” is one that happens all too suddenly. It’s better to be prepared than to have something go wrong and not have anything in place. Getting together an estate plan doesn’t mean that you’re expecting the worst to happen; it just means that you’re able to handle it if it does.
You Don’t Want Probate Doing It for You
Lastly, you don’t want probate court handling your estate for you. Probate court is the state-run mechanism that divides peoples’ assets when there is no estate plan. Probate court first pays off your creditors. Then, they divide up what’s left and give it to your family. This is not the optimal way that your estate should be divided. Having an estate plan prevents that from happening.
Listed above are just some of the reasons you will want to add “Estate Plan” to your list of 2019 to-dos. Estate planning is not difficult, and it is an excellent way to secure your future and your family’s future too.