Let me ask, why do you buy insurance? I know I buy insurance to protect against the future risk of losing money. I buy insurance to protect my health and property against the high cost of replacement.
You do estate planning for much the same reason. Plan to protect against future legal hassles, losses, costs, and risks.
Let’s assume you leave a $200,000 estate. That isn’t hard to do by the time you add up the value of your home, cars, furniture, and other things.
Probate will cost your family $12,000 or more off the top. Probate costs just about 6% of the total estate. That’s money to the attorney and others first, not your family. If you create a basic plan to eliminate probate for $2,000 and it costs $1,000 to settle it later, you just gave your family an extra $9,000.
Probate takes 10 months or more to get done once it is started. A plan to eliminate probate reduces that time to a few months.
Probate must pay your final expenses and bills. A plan to eliminate probate doesn’t have to pay those bills saving your family even more money. No telling how much that will put in your family’s pocket.
Probate can put your financial information in the public court record. This gives financial predators the opportunity to find out how much your family is getting. Then those same predators can prey on your family trying to get their money.
A plan protects against future emergencies and medical events. Planning makes sure that your family doesn’t have to end up in court to get permission to manage your financial, personal, and healthcare decisions.
Without a plan, family often must go to court to get permission from a judge to make your decisions. The basic, uncontested cost, for this is $2,400 plus filing fees and other costs. Then, every year, an accounting of your property must be published in the public court records. Your family may find themselves preyed on by financial predators.
With a plan, your family already knows who will be in charge. Not only did you save your family $2,400 but you also saved them the hassles of going to court, filing paperwork, and more.
I’ve just talked about 2 of the major reasons you want a plan. There are many more and all of them protect against future risk, just like insurance.