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Trusts and Estates – Blog

On Behalf of | May 31, 2017 | Firm News

5 Reasons Why Estate Planning Is For Everyone

Multiple people make the mistake of thinking that having an estate plan is only important if one is elderly. This sentiment could not be further from the truth. At CCRJ, we believe that estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or net worth, for the following reasons:

1. Loss of capacity: What if you become incompetent and unable to manage your own affairs? Without a plan, the courts will select the person to manage your affairs which could take weeks. Additionally, the court may appoint an individual that you would not chose to manage your affairs. With a Power of Attorney, you can select the appropriate person.

2. Minor children: Who will raise your children if you die? Without a plan, a court will make that decision. With a Designation of Guardianship, you are able to nominate the guardian of your choice for your children and avoid a lengthy court process that may be detrimental to your children.

3. Dying without a will: Who will inherit your assets? Without a Will, your assets pass to your heirs according to your state’s laws of intestacy (i.e. dying without a will). Your parents and siblings (and perhaps not the ones you would choose) will receive your assets without benefit of your direction or of trust protection. A Will enables you determine who gets your assets, and when and how they receive them.

4. Blended families: What if your family is the result of multiple marriages? Without a plan, children from different marriages, your children may not receive any portion of your assets should you predecease your current spouse. A Will allows you to decide what goes to your current spouse and which assets go to your children from a prior marriage or marriages.

5. Children with special needs: Without a plan, a child with special needs risks being disqualified from receiving Medicaid or SSI benefits, and may have to use his or her inheritance to pay for care. However, if you have a Will in place, you can set up a Supplemental Needs Trust that will allow that child to remain eligible for government benefits while using the trust assets to pay for non-covered expenses.

The reasons listed above are simply the tip of the iceberg. Estate planning is for everyone, no matter where you are in life. If you are interested in learning more and scheduling a reduced-rate consultation, please contact Anne McMichael or Jill Curry at Markusson, Green and Jarvis today 303-572-4200!