Thinking about what happens after you die isn't exactly a pleasant pastime. It isn't surprising that so many people put off planning their estate. While delaying this crucial planning can help you procrastinate in terms of considering your own mortality, it can also leave you and your loved ones at risk.
If you die without a last will, you will not have any control over how the state handles your assets. Instead, the law will dictate which family members receive assets from your estate. More importantly, your wishes and medical preferences won't be available to inform anyone else's decisions. Taking the time now to plan your estate, even if you're relatively young, is a great idea.
Creating a living will and last will outlines your wishes
Your last will lets your family members or the executor of your estate know how you want to disburse your assets. Whether you have a child who needs more support or a pet who requires a trust and care after you pass on, estate planning can help ensure you provide for the people (and furry babies) who depend on you. Careful planning can also minimize tax liabilities for your state and your heirs.
Creating a living will is an important step to plan for sudden medical events. In it, you will outline your wishes in an advanced medical directive. This way, if you ever end up incapacitated and unable to make decisions, your family knows your wishes about everything from life support to organ donation.
A living will can also include power of attorney documents that authorize someone to make medical decisions and someone to handle financial issues for you. Creating a living will not only gives your loved ones guidance, it also provides you with peace of mind.
Delaying the creation of your last will could be a major mistake
Many people like to hold off on creating a will until they are closer to retirement age. However, you don't know what life has in store for you. It isn't morbid to consider the fact that people die of sudden medical events, like strokes, or due to car accidents. It is practical.
If you die without a will or estate plan in place, your family may have to wait months while the estate goes through probate. If you end up incapacitated, your family may not be able to follow your wishes. Even if you discuss it with them, it can be hard to remember conversations, especially during times of emotional stress.
Regardless of your age, it's probably a good time to consider creating a last will if you haven't done so already. This way, you know your loved ones have protection and access to a record of your exact wishes.