Almost everyone will tell you that effective estate planning is crucial. At the same time, most people will also tell you that they haven't done enough or haven't even started yet. People often assume they don't need to worry about it until they're older, they feel uncomfortable planning for their own passing, or they just don't realize that it should be done sooner rather than later. Below are five reasons why you must get started today.
1. You know the plan is in place if you become disabled.
Stats show that nearly 50 percent of all individuals end up disabled to some degree before they pass away. This can make it difficult and even impossible to set up a proper estate plan. As long as you have your health, it's wise to get the paperwork out of the way. Hopefully, you keep your health for years to come, but this means you're protected if you don't.
2. You can ensure that your wealth stays in the family.
Your heirs may face constant - and often quick - changes in circumstances. Children and even grandchildren are getting married, getting divorced, entering into long-term relationships, or having children. This can be hard to track and impossible to predict. By putting a solid plan in place to pass your assets to your family members, you make sure that the wealth stays in the family, protecting it from these changes down the road.
3. You get peace of mind.
Certainly, there are already far too many things to be stressed out about in life. Why add to it? You don't have to be in the final year of your life to consider your estate plan. Even if you have decades remaining, getting the plan in place early simply gives you peace of mind. You know that your family is taken care of if the unexpected happens. It's never too early to plan, but it can be too late.
4. You can address nursing home costs and future medical costs.
These costs can be significant for the elderly. An estate plan can address them, through asset allocation, insurance, and other means. This way, if you find yourself suddenly facing high costs, you know that your estate isn't going to be completely devoured by them. You have a plan to give yourself what you need while still leaving an inheritance for your family.
5. Your family will know that you care.
Putting off estate planning puts a lot of pressure on your family. If you pass away unexpectedly, they suddenly have to sort through everything. Assets are often lost or not handed out as intended. Mistakes are made. It's confusing and stressful. When you have a plan in place in advance, you take this work off of their plate and show them that you care.
This cannot be stressed enough: It is never too early to consider estate planning. Even if you feel you're nowhere near having to use the plan, it can be very helpful to set it all up well in advance. It doesn't cost you anything extra to do it early, and it can save both you and your family a lot of trouble down the road.