by Jaynee Sasso
The summer season is perfect for taking a break from the routine of everyday life but it also provides a great opportunity to review and complete a host of items often pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. The subject of estate planning is typically not at the forefront of people’s minds regardless of the season. As a result, it is one of the most neglected aspects of a person’s financial planning strategy. The first step in estate planning is creating a will, a legal document that transfers your property after you die. Yet as people continually struggle to make ends meet, most feel that having a will is not necessary. A common thought is, “I don’t have much of anything to pass on to my heirs anyway so what’s the point?”
This kind of thinking means that today about 66 percent of Americans die intestate, or without a will. The idea of our mortality often strikes fear in the hearts of many. However, the family you leave behind will want to see that your wishes are fulfilled. Estate planning is not only about determining how your assets will be distributed upon your death, but also about creating a springboard for the success of future generations.
Why is a Will Important?
A will identifies the people who will settle your estate, care for your children and administer any trusts the will establishes. If you die intestate, you lose control over what happens to the property you worked hard to accumulate and protect throughout your lifetime. Even if you have no heirs or relatives, you may desire for your property to be given to a charitable organization for a worthy cause. If you die without a will your estate, is escheated and turned over to the state where you live. This is great for government officials but it doesn’t do much to help leave your thumb print on the world. Impacting future generations is what leaving a legacy is all about and it should not be left to chance. Although a will is not the only legal instrument used or needed to steer your prized possessions into the hands of your loved ones, it is a great place to begin the planning process. Creating a will is a fairly inexpensive and painless process. You should seek legal counsel from a competent professional about taking the initial steps toward addressing your individual concerns.
To ask Jaynee a question about estate planning or any thing about personal finance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org