Some people put off estate planning because they are young and in good health. Others think they don’t have enough assets to need an estate plan. However, everyone needs at least a basic plan, regardless of their age or their assets.
An estate plan protects the people you love from unintended consequences if you die or become disabled. For example, you may assume that a family member could step into your shoes and make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Without a legal document such as a power of attorney, your family may need to go through the cost and delay of a guardianship proceeding to do something as simple as paying your bills.
Examples of unintended consequences could include:
- A long and costly probate process
- Disputes between family members over who should receive your assets
- Unwanted publicity concerning your assets
- Disputes over who should care for you if you become disabled
- A long and costly guardianship proceeding
- Disputes over who should make financial decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions yourself
- Disputes with family members and medical providers over whether you should be hooked up to feeding tubes
- Estate taxes that could have been avoided
Your estate plan can be simple or comprehensive, depending on your assets and your family. For example, if you are young and in good health, you may only need a basic will, a power of attorney and an advance medical directive. If you have significant assets such as a house or a business, you may need to protect those assets with a trust or other planning strategy.
At Pursley McNamara & Flint our lawyers draft simple wills and other estate planning documents to clients in Sugar Land, Missouri City and other communities in Fort Bend County. Whether you want to update your existing estate plan or create a new plan from scratch, call us at (713) 766-4326 for a free initial consultation.