If you have assets, you have an estate. If you have an estate, you need a plan for it.
According to a recent survey, 55% of Americans who pass away do so without an estate plan. To make matters worse, nearly 72% of Americans don't have an up-to-date will.
These numbers are a problem.
If you pass away without an estate plan, your estate will go through probate and the distribution of your assets will be decided by state law - not by you or your heirs. This process could lead to assets being distributed in a way you didn't intend for and can create strife amongst your heirs.
In addition, probate is often much more costly than the creation of a thoughtful estate plan. Probate costs can range, but depending on who's involved in settling the estate, could cost ~10% of the estate's total value. Probate also takes time (generally at least six months, but could take years) and is public record.
Despite vast wealth, many high-profile celebrities like Prince, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse notoriously neglected to complete an estate plan. By putting their finances on the backburner, their loved ones were left picking up the pieces, spending years and many millions contending for assets.
Don't leave your mourning family sorting through legal jargon and having emotionally-charged disputes because you procrastinated too long in buttoning up your financial affairs.
If you don't have a plan in place, please get one. It will allow your loved ones to know your exact wishes for medical care, final arrangements, and the distribution of your assets.
We're happy to introduce you to a local estate planning attorney. Depending on your situation, we may be able to suggest alternative methods for completing your estate plan in an affordable manner.