Who Needs Estate Planning And Who Doesn't?

Posted by smith clea on October 2nd, 2022

If you have substantial assets or own your own business, estate planning can be essential to ensuring that your assets get distributed to the people who need them after you’re gone and that your family members are protected from unnecessary legal hurdles.
 
However, not everyone needs estate planning. 
 
It all depends on the size of your estate and whether you have children or stepchildren who will inherit some or all your assets when you die.
 
Here’s how to tell who needs estate planning and who does not.
 

Wills

 
A will is one of the most important documents you can have, especially if you have young children.
 
Without a will, the state will decide how your assets are distributed, which may not be in line with your wishes.
 
If you die without a will, your family will also have to go through the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
 

Life Insurance

 
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy.
 
Everyone has an estate, which is simply everything you own—your car, your home, your bank accounts and investments, your possessions.
 
If you die without a will or other estate plan in place, state laws will determine how your assets are distributed, which may not be in line with your wishes.
 

Medical Power Of Attorney

 
A Medical Power of Attorney (MPA) is a document that gives someone you trust the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.
 
While it is not required by law, it can be an important part of your estate plan.
 

Advanced Healthcare Directive

 
An advanced healthcare directive is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.
 
This can be an important tool for ensuring that your wishes are carried out, even if you are unable to communicate them yourself.
 

Spousal Power Of Attorney

 
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf.
 
This can be helpful in several situations, including if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself.
 

Durable Power Of Attorney

 
A Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
 
You can appoint anyone you trust to be your DPOA, including a spouse, family member, or friend.
 
If you become incapacitated and don't have a DPOA in place, your loved ones will have to go through the court system to get authority to make decisions on your behalf, which can be costly and time-consuming.
 

Transfer On Death Deeds (TODDs)

 
TODDs is a great way to avoid probate and keep your estate simple.
 
If you have a small estate and don't mind your heirs dealing with your assets after you die, then a TODD may be right for you.
 
However, if you have a large estate or complex financial situation, then TODD may not be the best option.
 

Trusts And Probate

 
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of who needs estate planning.
 
In general, though, if you have any assets or property that you want to pass on to someone after you die, you'll need to plan for it.
 
This includes things like your home, your savings, and even your life insurance policy.
 
If you don't have any estate planning in place, your property will go through probate after you die, which can be a long and expensive process.
 

About The Author

 
Clea Smith is a USA-based author on Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust, business law, and elder law. Clea Smith does her best writing on these topics that help users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning attorney, probate, living trust vs will, and more about legal family issues.

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smith clea
Joined: February 6th, 2020
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