Over half of all Americans do not have an estate plan in place. If you are among those without an estate plan in place you undoubtedly have several explanations for why you have yet to create yours. Perhaps it’s as simple as you never thought you needed one. If that is the case, let us give you three reasons why you should create your estate plan today!
1. Tomorrow may be too late. One of the most commonly offered reasons to not having an estate plan, is some variation of “I’m too young to need one.” While it is true that your odds of dying or becoming incapacitated increase with age, do you really want to gamble with something as important as your estate plan? The reality is that incapacity, or even death, could occur to anyone, at any time. Waiting until “tomorrow” may be too late.
2. You keep your promises. Most of us have personal belongings that hold significance to us, such as family heirlooms or sentimental items. We tend to promise those items to people we love. If you have the family’s photo album or your great grandmother’s baby spoon, you have probably already promised to pass them down. Maybe it’s something as simple as a baseball card collection you promised to leave to a friend. If you are someone who keeps his/her promises, you need an estate plan in place to fulfill those promises. Absent gifts made by you in a Last Will and Testament or trust your intended beneficiaries will have no legal right to the gifts your promised upon your death!
3. Uncertainty is never a good thing. A comprehensive estate plan does far more than just divide up your estate when you die. Another important component of any thorough estate plan is incapacity planning. If incapacity does strike, and you do not have an incapacity plan in place, uncertainty will prevail. Someone will need to make healthcare decisions for you…but who? Someone will have to take over control of your assets…but who? Someone will need to make personal decisions for you…but who? If you don’t want the court to appoint someone the legal authority to make those decisions on your behalf and/or control your assets, you need to create an estate plan that includes an incapacity plan.
If you have additional questions or concerns about getting started on your estate plan, contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.