Ignore these estate planning excuses

Having a will and making other estate plans is important but this planning is often postponed. You should avoid the temptation to rely on typical excuses to justify neglecting or putting off estate planning or reviewing your plan.

I have little and my family knows my plans

Persons rely on the excuse that they do not have a lot of assets and their family knows what should happen. Absent a will, however, Montana’s intestate succession laws will decide which family members will receive your assets after you die.

A judge who does not know you will apply this law and decide how your assets will be distributed regardless of what you intended. This may further disrupt your benefits or disability and estate planning, especially if you are unmarried and have no children.

No worries when I am dead

Estate planning is not restricted to the transfer of your property after you die. Revocable living trusts, for example, help protect you if are unable to pay your bills because you are older, ill, or suffered a serious injury.

Usually, a person may serve as a trustee of their fully revokable trust and continue to handle their own affairs. A family member, a trusted adviser or a financial institution can continue these task without interruption if the trust’s creator is unable to manage their accounts and pay bills. A trust can provide for the efficient distribution of your assets without the time and costs needed for a court to appoint a person to assume these duties.

Planning may help reduce the amount of assets that go through probate which can save time and money for your family members. If any of your heirs become disabled and wish to apply for government benefits, inadequate planning may make them spend money from their inheritance for basic needs instead of special items that enrich their lives.

Nothing will happen to me

People are working and living their lives without thinking about the possibility of being mentally or physically incompetent or dying. But death is inevitable, and nobody is immune from disability which may happen suddenly and without warning. Wills, power of attorneys and other estate documents help reduce any future hardships on your family and you from death or disability.

An attorney can prepare an estate plan that meets you and your family’s needs. They can also update existing plans to reflect your current situation.