Firm News - The Law Office of Paul D. White, P.A.

Why Estate Planning is Imperative

Posted by Paul D. White on Jul 12, 2013 3:58pm PDT

Elder law, Medicaid, wills, trusts, power of attorney, guardianship- unless you live under a rock, you have most likely heard of these terms. While many Americans are familiar with the concept of 'estate planning,' few actually have an estate plan in place.

According to a news release by the NAEPC Education Foundation, only 35% of Americans report having a will in place and only 21% have set up a trust. The Foundation went on to say, "It is estimated that 120,000,000 Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves and their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death."

Why is it so dangerous to not have an estate plan in place? To explain it simply: if you fail to set one up and you pass away unexpectedly, it will be your loves one's that have to pay the price. Also, an estate plan kicks into effect after you have an accident or suffer from an illness that leaves you incapacitated. In other words, it can benefit your future as well.

Let me elaborate: when individuals don't set up estate plans and get into serious accidents, it is not uncommon for loved ones to be uncertain about their family's members healthcare preferences and dying wishes. This can create additional anxiety for your family and can result in you not getting the medical care you would desire. Your legacy is everything and your family will want to protect it at all costs, but it is up to you to inform them about what your specific wishes are.

Estate plans answer questions such as, who will take care of my kids if I die? Who will pay the bills? Who will take care of my pets? Who will run my business? If you do not establish an estate plan, all of your loved ones will have to go to probate court. If everyone agrees on these major decisions, the process can go relatively smoothly. When this does not happen, however (which is not uncommon), the process can quickly become quite complex, overwhelming and expensive. The court also has to get heavily involved which means personal, sentimental decisions that could have been largely handled by your family will instead be dictated by judges and court orders.

In short, the money you can save by not making an estate plan is not worth it, compared to the conflict and anxiety you could cause your family. For more information about estate planning and why it is important you create an estate plan, contact The Law Office of Paul D. White, P.A. today! With over 21 years of experience beneath his belt, Attorney Paul D. White has the knowledge and resources you can trust to represent you effectively. Call now for your free consultation!