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Some believe that estate planning is only for wealthy individuals or for those who are closer to their retirement years. Throw these misconceptions out and read on.

There’s a lot that could happen if you die without an estate plan. But when it comes down to the main reason people even get an estate plan, it’s usually to protect their family after they pass. Isn’t this what you want too?

Unfortunately, just 55% of Americans with an annual household income of $75,000 and 31% of Americans bringing in less than $30,000 even have a will. While there may be some that don’t per say need an estate plan, the truth is, the majority of us would greatly benefit from one and so would our families.

While it isn’t legally required to have an Idaho estate plan (and no one is going to force you to one), not having one isn’t really a feasible option if any of the following apply to you:

1. You want your family to receive your assets.

As one ages, their family tends to become more important to them. Especially if your kids have kids, that is, your grandchildren. This is another (very important) reason to want to protect your family financially. Instead of letting your assets go to someone you may not want to have them, create your own personalized estate plan made to ensure they go to the right loved ones.

Without a plan, there is no legal guarantee that some of your loved ones will ever get to receive your assets. Nobody knows your desires better than you, so your best bet is for you to create the plan you want while you still can.

2. You don’t want the state to intervene.

If you don’t have a plan in place, you won’t have a say in what happens after your passing. Then guess who does have a say? The state. The Idaho laws of intestate succession will decide who gets your assets, and chances are good you won’t like what happens then.

But if you want to have power over your assets like you deserve, the only way to have such is to create an estate plan now – not later, when you are no longer competent – but now. Nobody knows when they will die or become incapacitated. Now is the right time.

3. You want the process after you pass to be smoother for your family.

As if dealing with the death of a loved one isn’t enough, your family will have to legally pronounce your death, arrange for transportation of your body, plan and pay for a funeral, the list goes on and on. One funeral director estimated that there are nearly 100 decisions that have to be made in the first three days after the death of a loved one. The combination of grief and stress makes it much more difficult to make these decisions.

But the family’s burden after a loved one’s death is made so much lighter by being able to adhere to your customized legal plan. This not only gives your family access to finances to tend to the sudden expenses for funeral costs, medical costs of the last illness, and many others costs, this also gives them peace of mind knowing that they won’t have to fight to ensure your wishes for your assets.

Why Else Should I Have an Estate Plan?

Apart from these three reasons, there are other ways it may be crucial for you to have an estate plan:

  • To ensure you have picked the guardians for you minor children and have established a way to pay for their needs
  • To prevent your heirs from dealing with added expenses or a big tax hike
  • To support a certain charity or organization
  • To ensure your business (if applicable) will still run the way you want it to

There are plenty of reasons you personally may need your own, personalized estate plan. And while not everyone may “need” one, most people (and their loved ones) would benefit from a personalized legal life plan.

Yes it takes time and money and more than a small amount of discomfort to do adequate planning. But, aren’t your loved ones worth it?

Give our Idaho Estate Planning office a call, or send us a message to learn more about our Legal Life Plan™ process.