What Lives On: The Importance Of Estate Plans

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There are probably many reasons given for putting off making a will and other estate plans, but most of them wouldn't survive much scrutiny. The truth is usually less interesting, and involves the reluctance of those who are left behind to deal with their deaths, even though there is nothing more inevitable. To overcome this stumbling block, it might help to look at the issue of estate planning through different eyes -- those of the loved ones you will leave behind. Read on to learn more.

Your Family and Friends

What if you knew that you could make some decisions right now that could lessen the worry, sadness, and confusion among your friends and family members in the future? An estate plan does just that by taking some of the difficult decisions away from the surviving family and friends, allowing them to grieve in their own way. An estate plan sets out your wishes for the distribution of your property in a very finite way, which could stop hard feelings before they even begin to surface.

Additionally, you can make your wishes known in regard to your final arrangements by using your will or by making those arrangements yourself. Some funeral homes offer plans that can be customized to your needs along with payment of those services in advance. This planning relieves a huge burden from your family at a very stressful time and it ensures that your funeral and burial is exactly what you want it to be.

Your Property

Many people feel embarrassed to be doing something called estate planning because they picture a person who has a lot to leave behind. It might help to understand that the word 'estate' is a legal term and it simply means everything you own at the time of your death. It's often your home, vehicles, boats, furniture, money in bank accounts, jewelry, and so on. Making plans for that property is the only way to ensure that it all goes to the people you want it to go to. If you fail to plan ahead the probate courts will be making those decisions for you.

Administering Your Estate

Another important decision that can be made ahead of time is your choice of the executor (personal representative). This position of trust and responsibility is too important to leave to the probate court since they will have power over several probate and estate issues. Pick someone who is honest, has the time and expertise to deal with estate matters, that cares about you and your family, and that is organized.

Speak to an estate planning attorney to learn even more reasons to plan ahead. Law firms like Van Gilder & Trzynka PC can offer more information.