Many people make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is just about protecting wealth and distributing property. Those are often important goals of estate planning, but they are not the only reasons to have an estate plan. There are other reasons to have an estate plan and other goals that you can accomplish with an estate plan. In fact, the other goals are often far more important than wealth and property.
If you have children, you can use an estate plan to determine who should have guardianship over your children in case something happens to you. Whose custody you leave your children in is usually far more important than how much money you leave your children. However, if you do not have an estate plan, you will not be the person to decide who will take care of your children.
An estate plan also sets out who takes care of you and your property if you become incapacitated. If you are in the hospital, for example, someone might need to make health care decisions for you. As part of your overall estate plan, you can decide who has the authority to do so.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because you do not have a lot of property you do not need an estate plan. Property is important to estate planning, but it is not the most important thing.
Davidov Law Group is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.