Critter Corner: Why Should I Bother with Estate Planning?

Dear Bebe,

My mom keeps telling my wife and I that we should make an appointment to get our estate planning done. I am in my early 40’s and in good health, and have a 10 year old child. Why should I think about estate planning now?

Please convince me that I need it and then maybe I’ll make an appointment!

Thanks,
Don Needitt

Dear Don,

I would have to agree with your mom. Estate planning is important for most people, and especially for someone at your stage in life! Here are some reasons why:

1. It makes sure your estate goes to whom you want, when you want, the way you want: You can leave assets to the next generation in equal shares, or determine how your estate is ultimately distributed.

2. As parents of a minor child, it is critical that you and your wife decide whom to name as guardian(s) in the event of your untimely death. In other words, who would you want to raise your child if something happened to both of you?

3. It saves your heirs legal fees, taxes, and time in settling your affairs: By planning ahead with a properly-funded living trust instead of a will or instead of dying intestate, you will avoid the expensive and complicated and time-consuming probate process, thus aiding the grieving process and allowing families to get on with their lives.

4. It allows you to protect the inheritance from children’s divorces or lawsuits: By leaving assets to your children in an inheritance trust, you may not only protect it from a divorce but also from creditors in the event your son or daughter ever gets sued.

5. It gives you peace of mind so that you can get on with your life: When you have a well thought-out and executed estate plan, you actually feel better. You feel safe and secure that no matter what happens, you have a plan to deal with it, and you have your team in place to carry it out. This allows you to put those concerns out of your mind and enjoy your life.

For more reasons, read Mr. Farr’s article, “Estate Planning for Every Stage of Life.” Hope to see you in the office soon!

Purrs,
Bebe

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