There are the What Ifs to consider for estate planning. What if I have children and die? What if someone wants grandma’s wedding ring when I die? What if I have incapacity? The What Ifs exist but aren’t always pleasant to think about. Still, it is the what ifs that make it important to put an estate plan in place.
Estate Plans for Family
Why do you need an estate plan as a family? Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional family, estate planning is important. Sometimes single parents and couples put off writing a Last Will and Testament until children arrive. Sometimes they keep putting it off. You work hard to support yourself and your family. You earn for the basics, food, clothing, and shelter. Then you work for happiness and fulfillment. What if you’re driving to work and never return home? What if you are on vacation for the last time? Who will take care of your children?
With an estate plan, you decide who is going to take care of your children and how to provide money for your child’s care. You name a guardian, and you should consider family visitation. Sometimes the grandparents are well into years and may not be able to be the guardian. Do you have other family? Whose family on which side? It’s time for a serious conversation about the what if and put a plan in place for Guardianships.
What Ifs for Personal Property
What Ifs exist for personal property. It seems once the funeral is over, the bickering begins over a loved one’s personal property. Janet wants a ring, Derek wants the telescope, and then it starts. Personal items brings memories to different family members. What happens without any clear direction? Children start negotiating or getting to the house early to get that one desired item. Hard feelings happen.
The more peaceful transition for your personal property is to set out specific distributions in a Last Will and Testament and even a personal property memorandum in a Living Trust. Help avoid the family drama with an estate plan.
Real Property What Ifs
The home tends to be a person’s most valuable asset. Houses mirror life, constantly updating, fixing, repairs, a journey of ownership. People spend all kinds of money during a lifetime, but fail to think about the what if and plan for death.
Often married couples rely on Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS). You leave the residence to the spouse, but what is the spouse is incapacitated? What if the residence falls into the state’s hands as a pay back for Medicaid? What if the spouse remarries and the house goes to a new spouse? What if both spouses die at the same time? A Living Trust gives couples more options to plan for the what ifs of real property ownership.
Single people are in a different what if situation. JTWROS is not available. Who will inherit the home? What if you have a child and a home? There is an estate plan for the single person and the single parent.
What If Questions for Estate Planning
Many what if questions exist that need an estate planning answer. What if there is incapacity? What if there is a disability? What if there is a child with special needs? What if Mom has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s? What if the spouse remarries? What if my child has a gambling or drug addiction?
What if you keep putting off thinking about the inevitable? That’s the worse question without a good answer. Estate Planning is a life plan that changes with life stages. It’s final at death.
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