8 Reasons to Have an Estate Plan

One very important, and often overlooked, factor to consider as part of your dissolution of marriage is a re-evaluation, (or first evaluation as is often the case) of your estate plan. If there is no plan in place, the laws that will determine how your estate will be divided upon your death change significantly when you are divorced. If there is a plan in place, you will most certainly want to make changes for your future to match the changes in your life today. Below are some very basic points on estate planning from about.com:

If you have assets, no matter what your age, marital status, or financial wealth, you should plan your estate in the event of your death or incapacitation. If you should die without a sound estate plan, someone will be exposed to additional grief and expense. If you become incapacitated, your bills might not get paid. You could also be put on life support which is OK unless you have strong feelings about your life being prolonged artificially if you have no chance for recovery. A little preparation and maintenance could make this difficult time less taxing for those you love and who love you.

There are many reasons to have a sound estate plan but here are eight I feel are most important. If you should die or become incapacitated, a sound estate plan could:

1. save your family thousands of dollars
2. distribute your assets to those of your choosing, not of the government's choosing
3. designate who will raise your minor children
4. make sure someone is authorized to pay your bills
5. avoid conflicts among your family members
6. make sure your assets aren’t divided among your children’s ex-spouses
7. keep your children from frivolously spending the inheritance
8. prevent death taxes.

Retirement planning includes estate planning. You don’t want to work hard all your life only to have your heirs lose a considerable amount of your estate to the government. You also don’t want to work hard all your life only to have your assets go to those you don’t want to include. Or, worse yet, you don’t want your estate tied up in court for several years.

Planning your estate takes some serious thought and consideration and should be updated with each life event. Life events are such things as:

· getting a job

· getting married

· having a child

· getting divorced

· death of a spouse

· remarriage

· children’s divorce

Each of these events can have an impact on how your estate will be handled in the event of your death. It’s up to you whether or not you want your hard earned property and money to go to those of your choice.



Retirement Planning written by Jenny and Patrick McKinney