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Is Estate Planning only for the Wealthy?

When people talk about “Estate Planning” they often think that it is only for the wealthy. We think that most people are living with the misconception that they don’t have much, so they don’t need a will or estate planning. What you have might not be much to you but may be a lot to someone else. You have worked long and hard for your possessions whether it be a car, co-op apartment or portfolio of skyscrapers these are your assets and you should have a say in who gets them.

Rich or poor, we all are going to die someday and nobody is going to take their estate with them, right? Now, would you want the courts based on state law to decide who is going to own your house, car, furniture, and other investment after your death? We think most believe in having a say! We believe that a proper estate plan can give you such say, while making pass through of assets a less complicated process for your loved ones. Also, keep in mind estate planning isn’t just about planning for death, it is also about planning for life and this part of estate planning most forget about or ignore.

I’m not rich, do I still need estate planning?

Yes! The biggest misconception when it comes to estate planning is that it revolves around people who have accumulated large wealth or lots of assets. When we speak to our clients about estate planning, we like to start with the basics. For example, do you have children under the age of 18? If the answer is yes, then you need estate planning. What will happen to your minor children if both you and your spouse are no longer around? Who will take care of your underage children? By creating a Will, you can designate a legal guardian for your minor children who will be responsible for their up bring and welfare if you are no longer around. Don’t you want to have a say in who that person will be?

Rich or poor be it a savings account with 20,000 dollars in it or 3 brown stones that you own planning for life is important. Estate planning is not just about pass on assets to the next generation but also who will be able to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf you are unable to do it for yourself? In a good estate plan, there is something called a healthcare proxy which allows the person of your picking to make medical decisions on your behalf and a durable power of attorney which allows a person to make financial decisions on your behalf. If one day you start to suffer from dementia don’t you think having these documents in place will be helpful?

If I am not wealthy what are the benefits of me having an estate plan?

We know that this above-mentioned question crosses a lot of people’s minds. A lot of people say that they aren’t rich or wealthy, they don’t have any estate, and they don’t have any property so why do they need estate planning? You must understand that planning for the future is very important. In life there are lots of unforeseen circumstances, hopefully with a good estate plan you will be able to cover and plan for some of them.

  • By creating a Will you can appoint a legal guardian of your choosing for your minor children,
  • By creating a healthcare proxy, you can empower someone you trust to make medical choices on your behalf in the event you are in a car accident or with age suffer from dementia and unable to make such decision on your own,
  • By creating a durable power of attorney, you can empower someone to make monetary decisions on your behalf if god forbid one say you suffer from stroke or become mentally incapacitated and can’t make them for yourself.
  • By Creating a Trust, you can create an extra layer of asset protection safeguarding that which is yours for your loved ones.

As you can see estate planning is important for all and not always is estate planning about sizable assets or wealth. We can choose who, what, where, when and how our estate is distributed and utilized in the future, today. Don’t you believe you are entitled to a say? Call our office today to set up a free consultation with an experienced lawyer to see how estate planning can best benefit you and your loved ones.