Please take the time to read both of these brief stories. They contrast the difference between planning and not planning.
Mark and Marcia
Mark and Marcia were living the American dream. He was a doctor. Their two children were very active. She worked at a coffee house. But, one day Mark walked in and dropped over. Unfortunately he didn’t make it.
Because Mark thought he was in great health, he had put off estate planning. Marcia didn’t know where anything was. She didn’t know what bills were due when. She didn’t know about the accounts.
It took Marcia years to find everything, open probate, and get things straightened out. In the meantime, Marcia had to ask the court for permission to spend money, sell assets, etc.
Marcia felt like she aged 10 years in the 3 years it took to get it all straightened out.
Joe and Janice
Joe and Janice are typical middle class parents. They both work good paying jobs and have two children and a dog.
They both carry life insurance through work. Even though Janice pays the bills, she keeps a list of who they pay every month, how much, address, etc. From this she knows their expenses and income. Joe keeps track of the equity they have in their home, car, retirement, etc.
They have a shared password file with a secure product.
They have a family trust and pour over wills as part of their estate plan.
If something would happen to Joe or Janice, the transfer of assets would be immediate. No probate.