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  • Writer's pictureWorley Elder Law

I Don't Have an Estate, Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?

You don’t need to have a summer house in the Hamptons, be dripping in diamonds, or have a private collection of Hermes bags to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the eyes of the law. Although the term may conjure images of expansive country properties, expensive cars, or other symbols of high wealth, for the purposes of estate planning law, the term “estate” covers a whole lot more.

So, what is an “estate” then?

Everyday ordinary possessions like homes, jewelry, bank accounts, cars, electronics, furniture — basically anything you can own — fall under what makes up your estate. In other words, estate planning is something that profoundly impacts virtually everyone, not just the “country club” crowd.

Even if you didn’t consider yourself the owner of an “estate,” it’s quite likely that you are. Therefore, the answer to the question, “I don’t have an estate. Do I really need an estate plan?” is, “Absolutely! Virtually everyone who owns property could benefit from estate planning.” And it’s important to keep in mind that estate planning covers more than just property. It’s also about ensuring someone you trust can make critical medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so and ensuring that someone you trust can take care of any minor children you have.

Okay, so I apparently have an estate. What’s the point of planning?

Estate planning can seem overwhelming, especially with the plethora of links available on social media... But you don’t have to go it alone (and we certainly don’t recommend it- a post on that topic to come soon!). We specialize in and know what it takes to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored for your exact needs. Below are some of the core tenets of what’s involved in estate planning and how this process ultimately benefits you:

  1. Planning allows you to remain in complete control of your property while you’re still alive and well.

  2. Planning helps you provide for yourself and your family in the event you become incapacitated or disabled - without requiring expensive and time-consuming court hearings.

  3. Planning saves you money by minimizing the impact of professional fees, court costs, and taxes.

  4. Planning provides a framework so you can give what you have to whom you want, the way you want, when you want.

  5. Planning protects your minor children in the event that you cannot. And no, merely telling your close family friend that you want them to take care of junior you does not cut it…

Understanding now that you do in fact have an estate and that planning provides a great benefit for you and your family, are you ready to sit down with a qualified estate planning attorney to see how you can ensure a better future for yourself and your family? There’s no time to waste! The sooner you take stock of your estate and get critical documents like Wills and Trusts completed, the better. Call us today to find out how we can keep your health—and wealth—in the right hands for good.



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