Don’t get caught without an estate plan.
Take the time now to have the sometimes awkward conversations to know what comes next and what to expect. A recent survey of more than 2,000 people found that 64% of the people surveyed indicated that they don’t have wills, according to an article published online by AARP. Many people tend to procrastinate a little too much when it comes to starting an estate plan. People fear that once they get the ball rolling, something bad will happen, but truth be told, the odds are no different than any other time (no, seriously, they are the exact same). And every one of my clients that complete an estate plan with me say that they experience such a sense of relief afterwards! The peace of mind far outweighs the (sometimes irrational) fear involved in beginning the estate planning process!
7 questions to ask when preparing your estate plan for couples and single adults.
Disability: What if you, your spouse or child becomes permanently disabled and could no longer work or take care of yourself…who will be the care provider and how will that happen? Even if your spouse or parent becomes the primary provider, they will need a break, or need to help with children, what is your backup plan in case they are injured. Hospitals now require a power of attorney, and authorization from you prior to your spouse being able to make decisions for you.
- Expenses Prior To Death: Possible medical expenses that have caused many families to declare bankruptcy are medical expenses. Cancer is one of the leading causes to medical bankruptcy. How are you going to pay your mortgage or other needed medical bills if you are diagnosed terminally ill?
- Final Expenses Caused from Death: What potential expenses would need to be paid in the unfortunate event of your death? Do you have a funeral plan? If you were found at fault for the vehicle accident that killed you, how would your surviving loved ones pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars without losing the home?
- Ongoing Expenses: If you have children or a spouse, what ongoing expenses would need to be taken care of? Mortgages, car payments, debts, inflation, how much money a year would be needed to replace your income or services in the home? How long would that be needed, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years? Some husbands think that his spouse will get remarried and that he will be paying for the future husband, what he may not realize is that the children may suffer from the lack of resources.
- Care for Loved Ones: If you or both you and your spouse were to die tomorrow in a car accident, what would happen to your children? Who would take care of them? How and where would they take care of them?
- Death Tax Burdens: If your estate is large enough (1 million dollars or more), 50% can be taken by the state/federal government. 1 million dollars over the course of 15 years is a little over $66k per year, without the right tax protection can reduce that to $33k per year. Can your family live a sustainable life?
Revising Wills: Will your life change over the next few years with income, children, home size? Then how often should you revise your will may be determined how quickly your life changes, from yearly to every few years.
Having the right team of consultants, including an estate planning attorney, CPA, and financial advisor can help you avoid years worth of hassle and potential poverty for your loved ones, giving them the peace of mind to live fulfilling lives in the unlikely event of your death or disability. Discussing these questions with your loved ones prior to meeting with your estate attorney will quickly move the process forward while keeping you and your loved ones protected from an unfortunate event.
A quick note, each state has different laws pertaining to wills and estates. It’s important to find local advisors that understand the legal and tax situations involved for you specifically. Let me know how I can help. Local to Logan Utah I can help with your estate planning needs.