Estate Planning is About More Than Who Gets What and When
Hi, I’m Gary DeWitt with DeWitt Law Firm where I do estate planning.
A lot of people come to me and think that estate planning is just about who gets what. They often don’t know that estate planning is about more than who gets what when. Today I’m going to cover what estate planning really is.
Estate planning is about staying in control instead of letting a Judge and the Government make your personal, financial, legal, and healthcare decisions.
Your assets during your lifetime. If you can’t conduct business or manage your own affairs, the court, not your family and you, determine how your assets are used to care for you through a process called guardianship. Guardianship means that somebody must step up and ask the court to manage your affairs. And they don’t get unlimited authority. They must report to the court every year about your wellbeing and finances.
How your property is distributed to your family and loved ones. If you don’t plan, then the State has determined who gets how much and when. The problem, they haven’t said who gets what. Your stuff may end up being sold and the cash distributed. The other problem is that the State also determines how much your spouse gets and how much your children split.
Your dignity. If you don’t have a plan, the State and doctors have a plan for managing your final hours. If you can’t make decisions, they’ll make them for you.
Given a choice – and the choice is yours – wouldn’t you like these issues handled by your family in private instead of being drug through the courts? Wouldn’t you rather control who gets what, how much, and when? Wouldn’t you rather go out with dignity on your terms?
Knowing that you have a plan in place – one that puts you firmly in control – will give you and your family peace of mind. This is one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for your family and loved ones.
In summary, estate planning is about staying in control and providing you and your family with peace of mind.