Estate Planning: Not Just for the Rich and Elderly

There are numerous misconceptions surrounding estate plans. Far too many people believe that they are a tool only for the wealthy and only for the elderly.

However, this could not be further from the truth. The fact is, if you own possessions and you have loved ones, an estate plan is incredibly beneficial—no matter your age and amount of wealth.

Below we have detailed some of the biggest reasons why an estate plan is a wise choice for EVERYONE!

Distribution of property

You may not have a significant amount of wealth or assets to your name, but very few people completely lack material possessions. Do you own a home? Do you own a car? Do you own clothes and furniture and jewelry? Estate planning gives you full control over how those assets will be distributed after you are gone. Making a plan for the distribution of your property makes things much easier on your family and avoids leaving the decisions up to a judge who does not really know you or what you would have wanted.

Burial wishes

Some people have very specific wishes about how they would like to be buried when they die. Do you want to be cremated? Do you want to be buried in a specific location? In planning your estate you can explicitly detail your wishes so there are no questions about how you wanted to be buried and memorialized.


Estate plans are not just for death. Accidents and illnesses can occur in our lives that leave us alive but unable to manage our own affairs and make our own decisions due to mental or physical incapacitation. As part of a thorough estate plan you will want to create a Power of Attorney which will allow you to designate an agent to make financial decisions for you as well as medical decisions for you if you are ever in a position where you are unable to do so yourself. If you are incapacitated and you haven’t designated such an agent, your family may be forced to go court and seek a guardianship or conservatorship, which can be costly and have unexpected outcomes.

End of life care

If you were ever to fall into a coma with no hope of recovery, would you want your family to keep you on life support or pull the plug? There are a wide variety of scenarios in which doctors and your loved ones could be faced with the prospect of making a decision to administer end of life care or not. The question is always asked, “What would he/she have wanted?” Wouldn’t you rather ensure they know exactly what you would have wanted? A Living Will allows you to provide detailed instructions for what you would like to occur in such a scenario. This removes the burden of making an incredibly difficult decision about your life from your loved ones’ shoulders.

Protect minor children

Do you have children under the age of 18? If so, you most certainly have an opinion about who you would want to raise your kids if you and their other parent were ever unable to do so. An estate plan allows you to designate a guardian who would raise your children for you. You can also create a testamentary trust that would take effect only in the case of your death that would control and spread out the distribution of your kids’ inheritance rather than giving a large lump sum to an underage child to do with as he or she wishes or having a court appoint a conservator for the inheritance.

Avoid family infighting

When you die your loved ones will be struggling with more than enough grief over their loss. Do you really want to leave them in a chaotic situation where everyone has a different interpretation of what your wishes about property, etc would have been? Disputes over estates can tear a family apart. Your estate plan can ensure there will be no reasonable challenges to your wishes and provide clear instructions for your loved ones so as to avoid damaging battles over the administration of your estate.

Whether you are incredibly wealthy or have very few assets, you owe it to your loved ones to take the time to create an estate plan. Everyone will die at some point, and an estate plan is much more important for your family than it is for you. Contact ProActive Legal Care today to get started protecting your family and your legacy.

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