Why Should I Have An Estate Plan?

 In Uncategorized

According to Caring.com’s 2023 Wills and Estate Planning Study[ https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey/], 64% of Americans think having a Will is important, yet only 34% of Americans have any type of estate plan in place. While many Americans say they just haven’t gotten around to creating their estate plan, 35% of Americans say they don’t have a plan because they do not have enough assets to leave to anyone. This includes a significant number of people (24%) who are making $80,000 or more per year.

Estate planning provides many advantages that are important for everyone, not just those making six-figure salaries. I believe that for families with minor children, one of the most important things a Will can do is allow you to name who you would like to take guardianship of your minor children in the event of your death. Without a Will, it is left up to the State Court System to appoint a guardian for minor children. The State Courts do not know your children or the people who know your children best. Preparing and executing a Will is the best way to make sure that your wishes are known and followed.

While a Will becomes effective at your death, a Revocable Living Trusts allow you to name someone that can act on your behalf to manage your money and property if you become incapacitated during life. This way, if you are not able to manage your finances, you can name a Successor Trustee that can step in to manage them for you. This, along with an Advanced Health Care Directive, often avoids the need for petitioning a court to appoint a guardian and conservator to make such decisions.

If you have real estate, or over $100,000 in other assets that don’t have a beneficiary designation, a Revocable Living Trust is a great way to spare your loved ones from the probate court to transfer your assets after death. A Will is a tool that can be used to name beneficiaries at your death, but a probate court must still be involved to give your personal representative the legal authority to take ownership of your property after death. In contrast, the Revocable Living Trust allows your successor trustee to step into your shoes and follow the terms of the trust for paying final expenses and making distributions to beneficiaries without the hassle and expense of going through probate court.

If you would like more information tailored to your particular situation, please don’t hesitate to call me at 801-874-4546 to schedule a free consultation. I am an estate planning attorney in Spanish Fork, Utah. While my office is in Spanish Fork, I provide estate planning services in Utah County and beyond.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

eleven − three =