Some People Think They Don’t Need an Estate Plan
I got a note from a lady that made me think.
In summary, here is what she said: I’m an 80 year old lady that lives in a paid for house. I don’t need any estate planning.
The first thought through my head was, what happens when your children want to sell the house? They’ll have to go through Probate just to get clear title to the house in order to sell it. That’s 8 to 10 months and expense they shouldn’t have to face.
The other issue is what happens when she needs help paying bills or making medical decisions. Her children won’t be happy to find out they have to go get a Judge to give them permission to pay bills and make her decisions.
She could decide to plan as many people try to do by putting her children on the deed and accounts. But that comes with risks. If her children decide to sell the house, then she can’t stop them. If they are sued, then her assets are exposed. If she needs Medicaid, then those gifts will count against her.
As with many people, she doesn’t realize that estate planning also includes protecting rights and assets during your lifetime.