People commonly think of trusts and estate planning as something that only the extremely wealthy can benefit from. This false belief may attribute to the fact that more than half of all American adults do not have a will. If planning for what happens when you have passed away is so important, how much money does someone need to start estate planning?
Who should have an estate plan
The first thing that anyone should know about an estate plan is that there is no minimum amount of money that someone needs to have before making an estate plan. In fact, some areas of estate planning do not involve money at all. Thorough estate planning can include:
- Creating a will or trust – these legal documents establish who receives your funds and assets after your passing. A trust also allows you to specify when and how someone can receive money, even before your passing.
- Create a health care directive – estate planning allows you to specify what your medical wishes are in certain situations. If you are ever unable to act or speak on your behalf due to illness or injury, your loved ones can turn to your health care directive for answers to serious questions like how long they should keep you on life support.
- Guardianships – if you take care of minor children or vulnerable adults, appointing someone as a guardian can ensure that someone you trust will look after your loved ones if you cannot.
An estate plan is not just something that gives money away if you pass on, and it allows you to make your final wishes known to your friends and family. Your planning today can keep your loved ones from guessing what you want or your assets from going to beneficiaries you never would have picked.
Where do you start planning?
If you want to be sure that you are protecting your last wishes, create an estate plan you can count on. Consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan that will protect your wishes when you need it to.