In today’s post on basic estate planning questions we are going to turn our attention to one of the most basic estate planning questions of all. Namely, why is it that people in California need to create an estate plan?
If you have been reading our series, you are likely already familiar with several important estate planning concepts and issues, each of which could be enough to cause you to want to make a plan of your own. However, if you are still on the fence about estate planning and need more reasons to get started on the process, perhaps the following questions might help convince you.
Basic Question. Does your family know what you want?
Beyond making important choices about your estate and other planning topics, estate plans allow you to give your family peace of mind. When you create an estate plan you leave behind clear instructions about exactly what you want to happen after you become incapacitated, or after you die.
Your sudden incapacitation or death will leave your family and loved ones in an emotional state. During this time it will be very difficult for those closest to you to make difficult decisions, or face questions involving complicated issues.
Yet without an estate plan, this is exactly what you are asking your loved ones to do. By creating a plan you remove the burden of having to make these difficult decisions from your family members, and allow them to easily recognize and understand what you would have wanted to happen.
Basic Question. What happens if your family fights over you?
Your family and loved ones will usually want what is in your best interests. Unfortunately, different people have different ideas of what that means. If you become incapacitated or die, there is a distinct possibility that your family could end up having a disagreement over your estate and your affairs. Some of these disagreements can elevate to the level that requires courts to get involved. They can also significantly, and permanently, damage relationships between those who are closest to you.
Having an estate plan greatly reduces the chances that your family will fight over you. If you make your wishes clear, appoint responsible representatives, and make sure that each element of your estate plan complies with California law, it becomes much less likely for damaging family conflicts to arise because of your death or incapacitation.
Basic Question. What does the future hold?
This basic question lies at the heart of estate planning. It’s also a question that no one can answer completely. Even though all of us hold hopes and expectations about the future, none of us can be certain about what will happen. An estate plan is simply a way that allows you to protect yourself from the expected, and unexpected, events that the future holds.