Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Will and estate planning - The Law Office of David B. FerrellWho needs an estate plan?

This answer is simple. Everyone needs an estate plan! If you have money, possessions, or family, you need an estate plan. The older we get, the more we tend to think about the future—and rightly so! You might start to think about estate planning later in life because you think, “time is running out.” By the time you reach middle age or the golden years, you must have an estate plan.

Once you make you estate plan, that does not mean that you never have to go back and update it. Different life events will require you to add to your estate plan. If you get married, you might want to add your spouse as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy or the person who can make medical decisions for you if you are ever unable to do so. If you have children, you might want to add them to your trust and assign a guardian for them. Basically, it is best to make an estate plan as early as possible and update it throughout your life.

What is an estate plan?

In its simplest form, estate planning is coming up with a plan for what will happen to you and your assets when you can no longer take care of yourself or you pass away. This is a touchy subject for everyone because no one wants to have to think about that. However, a worse thought is what would happen if you did not have an estate plan. Wouldn’t you feel better at the end of your life knowing that all of your affairs are in order and your loved ones are taken care of? … We think the answer is yes.

Some people think their estates are too small or they don’t really own anything valuable, so they don’t need an estate plan. But people often own more than they realize – what about a car, home, savings accounts, jewelry, or other investments? You might have at least one of these things, if not more. Through an estate plan, you can decide who receives these assets after you die. If you do not have an estate plan, your wishes mean nothing to the state. Without an estate plan, the state will use pre-determined guidelines to give away your assets, including ones you might have verbally promised to a different family member or friend.

Obviously, the size of your estate means different levels of estate planning. According to the Marketing Intelligence Center, “If you have a small estate, then you need to find someone to settle your final debts, and distribute whatever assets remain after your death, or make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.”

If you have a larger estate, your lawyer will help you through some of the more complicated decisions that need to be made. A lawyer will be able to help you make sure you take advantage of all of the laws to ensure that you can keep as many assets as possible for your family, friends, and even charities.

The goal of estate planning is to protect ourselves and our family while making things easier on those we leave behind. If you have any questions or want to start your estate plan, call David B. Ferrell at our Canton, OH office at (330) 452-7531.

About David Ferrell

For over 30 years, David B. Ferrell has practiced excellence in the areas of probate, estate planning, DUI, and divorce law. David Ferrell is dedicated to providing each client with personal service, trustworthy advice, and expert representation. David B. Ferrell's Google+ Profile

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