Have you done your estate planning yet? If not, you may be thinking about the importance of doing it in the future. This puts you in fairly good company. Most people in the United States have also not done their estate planning, even though they do know that it is important.
According to some reports, which focused on people who are over 55 years old, a mere 18% of them have all of the documents that they need, which include a power of attorney, a healthcare directive, and a will. Roughly half of them haven’t even written a will, which is just considered to be the first basic step to take.
What types of problems can this create?
If you don’t have an estate plan, it can lead to some serious problems for your heirs. A few examples include:
- They may not be able to agree on medical care if you can’t make your own decisions.
- The probate process may take a long time to divide your assets.
- Your heirs may disagree on who should get which assets, leading to estate disputes.
- Your heirs may pay more in taxes than they need to if you had a robust estate plan that reduced those taxes.
These are just a few of the potential problems that come from not having an estate plan. Many people are especially worried about disputes between heirs, as these can make it difficult for siblings to get along in the future. If you want to make sure that your family is in a good position, take the time to consider all of your estate planning options carefully.