When you look at the statistics that are compiled when researchers dive into the subject, you see some surprising estate planning revelations. It is hard to fully understand the reasons behind it, but the majority of American adults do not have any estate planning documents in place.
Unfortunately, their families are often left behind to deal with the negative circumstances that come about due to the inaction. In this post, we will look at five compelling reasons why you should consult with an estate planning lawyer sooner rather than later if you are currently unprepared.
Protect Your Young Family
The vast majority of younger adults have taken no steps to protect their loved ones if the unthinkable was to take place. But sadly, people of all ages pass away each and every day.
It can be argued that estate planning is more important for younger people that it is for their older counterparts. If you stop and think about it, the children of senior citizens are typically going to be mature, self-sufficient adults. On the other hand, people that are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s often have dependent children still in their homes.
Estate planning is an absolute must for responsible young parents. You should make sure that there is a suitable income replacement vehicle in place, and life insurance is right for most people. A guardian should also be chosen to care for the children if it ever becomes necessary.
Express Your True Wishes
If you die without any estate planning documents at all, the matter would fall into the hands of the probate court. After final debts were paid, the intestate estate would ultimately be distributed through the succession laws of the state of Michigan.
Under these circumstances, people that you would never leave out if you were to make the choice yourself could potentially be disinherited. You should never take any chances with possible intestacy, because estate planning help is always just a phone call away.
Record Life Support Preferences
A well-constructed estate plan will include an incapacity planning component, because a lot of people become unable to make sound decisions at some point in time. With a living will, you can express your preferences with regard to the utilization of life-sustaining measures like feeding tubes, artificial hydration, and artificial respiration.
This is one document that would definitely be part of an incapacity plan, but there are others that should be included as well.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
This sounds a bit flippant, but you don’t really have to be too concerned about estate planning if there nothing is left to pass along to your loved ones after you are gone. With this in mind, you should understand some things about Medicare and nursing homes.
Simply put, Medicare will not pay for a stay in a nursing home, and 35% of seniors will require this type of care eventually. In our area, the average cost for a year in a nursing home is over $100,000, and the prices have been rising on an annual basis.
Medicaid will pay for living assistance, but it takes careful planning to qualify at the right time, because there are strict income and asset limits. If you discuss your situation with an attorney from our firm, we can help you put a nursing home asset protection plan in place.
Estate Plan Updates
If you have an estate plan that you created years ago, it is very possible that updates will be required, because the original plan was based on a snapshot of your life at that time. It is wise to get together with an estate planning lawyer every two or three years at minimum to review your existing plan.
Attend a Free Estate Planning Seminar!
Our attorneys are holding a number of seminars over the coming weeks, and you can learn a lot if you attend one of these sessions. There is no admission charge, but we ask that you register in advance so that we can reserve your seat.
To do just that, visit our seminar page, click on the date that works for you, and follow the simple instructions to register.