Thinking about death is not fun. It’s morbid and depressing, and as a result many young people believe that is state planning is typically something reserved for people entering their golden years. The fact of the matter is, however, there is no way of knowing when it will all end. This is why it’s important to have an estate plan no matter what your age.
As the first of the millennials are starting to enter their forties, many of them are starting to ask questions about planning their estates. In the Chicago area, the skilled estate planning attorneys at M&A Law Firm have all the answers that their inquiring minds need to know. There remain, however, certain frequently asked questions millennials come to us with regarding estate planning, and we’ve summarized them here to help more young people get a better idea of why they need to start planning their estate sooner rather than later.
1. When Should I Start My Estate Plan?
It’s a tough thing to talk about – you know, what’s going to happen to you and the kids, the cats, the family silver, or whatever it may be when you pass away. But regardless, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have a plan in place just in case the worst does happen.
If you have children, property, a spouse, a pet, or cherished possessions, you want to make sure that they are cared for in the tragic event of your death – and nobody wants to make tragedy even worse by being unprepared.
2. What is the estate planning process Like?
Every estate plan looks different. Estate plans are customized based upon your final wishes, financial circumstances, living relatives, and state probate requirements. But first, you’ll have to prepare yourself to face some heavy questions.
Your estate plan requires you to determine what assets each of your beneficiaries are entitled to after your passing, so the first step in effective estate planning involves collecting all of the facts. An attorney can help you do this as an in-person interview, or you can fill out a questionnaire to help get the ball rolling. Either way, estate planning starts with getting all of your information in one place. From there, you and your attorney can identify your estate planning goals and start executing the legal documents required to carry them out.
This is a generalized summary – at the end of the day, the estate planning process looks different for every person. Estate planning can be a challenging process, but it’s critical to ensuring that your loved ones are protected.
3. Do I Need a Will?
There is no one size fits all estate plan, so these specific questions are almost impossible to answer outside of individual context. But for now, suffice it to say that yes – Millennials now should have wills, and most likely and several other documents for that matter, to form a complete estate plan.
Also, you probably need more than just a will to finalize your estate plan. A will dictates the dispensation of property after someone’s passing, but you’ll also want to make sure your beneficiaries are named in other legal documents, such as your life insurance benefits or retirement plans. An attorney can help you identify and execute the documents you need to make sure your estate plan is all buttoned up.
4. If everyone needs a will, how hard could it really be to put one together?
Well, everyone needs a smartphone too – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a complex and sophisticated tool. Like a smart phone, an estate plan is a complex tool that requires the help of the of an expert to design effectively
A quick Google search will uncover numerous YouTube videos about writing your own will. Many of those videos make it seem like writing a will is something you could do on our own, in the privacy of your own home. All the legal complexities in potential pitfalls to executing a legally binding will in the state of Illinois, going at it alone is not the best idea. Even for the most diehard and dedicated do-it-yourselfer, a DIY estate plan will not you money in the long run. More likely than not, it will get you caught up in probate court that will dwindle your assets and tie up your family in challenging legal procedures for years to come. Rather than risk it, reach out to the skilled estate planning attorneys in your area to get the help you need to protect your family and your property.
5. How does spending money on a lawyer help me save money on my estate plan?
An experienced attorney can make sure that your estate plan cover all of your assets and that you avoid things like the expenses and delays of unnecessary probate court processes.
A typical estate plan includes a will, power of attorney agreements for both healthcare and financial decisions, documents dictating the disposition of personal property, and documents reflecting your final wishes regarding funerary services and your final remains. All of these things are critically important, but that’s why the skilled estate planning attorneys at M&A Law Firm are here – to get this process started off right!
6. What are my options?
A well-crafted a state plan is customized, so take your time! However, at the same time, estate plan should be in the forefront of your mind. After all, if your estate is not properly planned at the time of your passing, you may force your loved ones to incur unnecessary expenses. Not only that, but probate courts can sometimes force the sale of your assets if your documents are not in order, so the stakes are potentially very high.
Setting up your estate plan shouldn’t be harder than it has to be. There are many legal avenues available to ensuring your loved ones and cherished items are cared for after your passing, and it’s never too early to start planning your estate. To put your mind at ease, reach out to the skilled estate planning attorneys at M&A Law Firm. They will provide you with the help, assistance, and support you need to set up an estate plan that gives you the peace of mind you deserve.