You don’t need to create your own estate plan and I want to tell you why.
The State Government has already written a plan for you and if it works for you, you don’t need to write your own plan.
Let me lay it out for you, and you can decide if their plan is good for you or not.
First, the State’s plan for your final estate is probate. Technically, since you don’t have a Will, it is called intestate succession. Because you didn’t leave a Will or Trust, the state has to make all the decisions. The state has already decided who will get what, when, and how much. Your spouse, if you are married, gets 1/3rd and your children will split the other 2/3rds. If you family can’t agree on who gets what, then a judge will decide for them. The judge may even have to order most everything sold and just split the money. Your private affairs and net worth become part of the public record for anybody to look at. This can lead to financial predators preying on your family.
This whole process should only take about 12 to 16 months. It will only cost 6 to 10% of your final estate.
Second, if you can’t make decisions anymore because of dementia or any other reason, somebody will have to go ask a judge for permission to make decisions for you. Their power to make decisions is limited and they will have to ask the Judge permission to do many things. Also, your private affairs and worth become part of the public record for anybody to look at.
The initial trip to court will set your family back at least $3,000 in legal fees alone not including filing fees and other costs.
Third, your healthcare will be in the hands of the doctors and they get to make all the decisions concerning your healthcare if you can’t make the decisions yourself. You could be kept alive on machines against your wishes while your family fights among itself and with the doctors concerning your care.
If this doesn’t sound like what you want for you and your family, then I would like to invite you to talk to me about creating your own plan to take the place of the State’s plan.