It was hard enough to grieve for Jim, but Jim’s family was facing the ordeal of probate with its maze of laws and court.
That short story sums up what happens to many people. They put off planning until they retire, an incident occurs, or they get frail. Planning is often an afterthought. Many people don’t realize what happens when they don’t have a plan.
Estate planning is about preparing for unexpected emergencies.
Planning lets you and your family •Recover faster •Be in control of who will manage the emergency (and your affairs) if you can’t •Feel more confident, in control, and able to cope quickly when a situation arises •Avoid legal hassles and messes •Get deserved peace of mind •
You plan financially for emergencies with insurance. But what about the legal and personal aspects of emergencies? That is where estate planning comes in.
If you were suddenly unable to make your own choices, who do you want in charge, the Government or family?
If you want to make sure your wishes are carried out the way you want, then you need a plan. Your spouse doesn’t automatically have permission to make your decisions.
If you want to control who will make decisions for you; who will manage your money; who will take care of you; and who will get how much and how, then you need a plan. Your family isn’t automatically in charge.
If you want you, your assets, and your loved ones protected when you can’t, you need an estate plan.
If something happened tomorrow, will your family face probate? Most likely they will. How would your property be distributed? Without a plan, according to the State’s rules.
If you want to avoid probate for your family, you need a plan. Probate is your default plan.
If you want to minimize messes and family fights, you need a plan. Family’s fight and lawyers make a lot money without plans.
Without a plan you don’t leave control to your spouse, children, or loved ones. Instead, you leave control to the judges, courts, and laws of Arkansas.
If you become unable to make your own decisions, then somebody, hopefully not adult protective services, will have to step up. They will have to go ask the court’s permissions to make decisions for you. Once the court puts them in charge, only they can they manage your money and healthcare.
When you pass, then the state has already decided who will get how much, when, and how. Your spouse doesn’t automatically get everything. Most people don’t like the state’s default plan when they hear it.