Putting together an estate plan is likely on your to-do list. You know that list. The one that also includes other fun projects like putting together a budget, double checking the health insurance policy and cleaning out the basement. This list likely gets brushed aside on a regular basis.
The good news: getting an estate plan does not have to be that hard. The bad news: not getting an estate plan can lead to headaches. Three of the top headaches that come with failing to put together a plan include:
- Excess and unnecessary expense
- Time commitment required from intended beneficiaries
- A lack of control over your estate
Having a better understanding of these headaches may give you the extra incentive you need to cross estate planning off your to do list.
The hidden expense of not having an estate plan
Not having an estate plan means that your estate will likely go through probate. Probate is the court process that is used to determine what goes where. This can leave your estate subject to the costs associated with going to court, which can include attorney expenses and court fees.
Without an estate plan, your estate may also be subject to taxes. In many cases, the taxes your estate is required to pay can be decreased with proper planning.
Time commitment to deal with the estate
Loved ones will also have to take the time to navigate the probate process. They may be required to appear in court or take additional time to meet with attorneys to attempt to figure out what is happening with the estate.
Lack of control
If you don’t put together an estate plan, you lose the ability to control how your estate is distributed. Generally, state rules will apply. This means the government will determine who gets what.