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4 Reasons to Create an Estate Plan That Have Almost Nothing to Do With Money

 Posted on February 02, 2023 in Estate Planning

CA estate planning lawyerAn estate plan is essential for everyone. For many, the primary purpose of creating such a plan is to ensure that their finances and assets are distributed according to their wishes when they pass away. But there are other reasons to create an estate plan besides money. Here are four of them.

Reason #1: Privacy Concerns

In many states, probate court proceedings are matters of public record. This means that any documents filed in connection with a probate case could be available for anyone to view. Such documents generally include wills and other estate planning tools that might contain sensitive information about your finances or private family matters. With an effective estate plan and the strategic use of various trusts, you may be able to avoid probate court altogether, thereby keeping your affairs private.

Reason #2: Providing for Minor Children

If you have children who are not yet adults, it is important that you have a plan in place should something happen to you and/or your spouse. In such a situation, the court would need to determine who will assume the legal guardianship of your children until they reach adulthood. Your estate plan can clearly designate who these guardians should be and provide directions on how assets should be used for their benefit while they are minors. Technically, this last part is a little about money, but caring for your children is about much more than financial assets.

Reason #3: Your Own Health-Related Decision Making

Your comprehensive estate plan should also include documents related to your own healthcare decisions and end-of-life wishes should you become incapacitated due to illness or injury. You may choose to name a health care proxy or power of attorney that provides someone else the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if necessary. Without such documents in place, decisions about your medical care may be left up in the air until a court ruling can be made as part of conservatorship proceedings—a lengthy and expensive process that could take months or even years to resolve.

Reason #4: Preventing Your Family From Fighting

This consideration has a bit more to do with money than others but preventing family in-fighting after your death is another key reason why you should create an estate plan now rather than later. By establishing clear instructions regarding how assets will be divided among your heirs, you can help minimize conflict after your passing. Clear communication can also ensure that everyone involved knows what is expected of them ahead of time. If your decisions and instructions are not made clear in advance, family members may end up fighting over who gets what—which not only creates undue stress but also increases the chances that disagreements could result in costly litigation down the road.

Work With a California Estate Planning Attorney

If you are ready to start creating your comprehensive estate plan, or you have questions about the process, contact experienced California estate planning lawyer David Schechet. He and his team will work closely with you in providing a secure future for you and your loved ones. Call 800-282-4731 for a free consultation today.


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