Death is a scary subject for most. As a topic filled with uncertainty and fear, many people shy away from creating an estate plan. However, an estate plan is a blessing for grieving loved ones, and they will be grateful that a huge burden will be lifted in such a difficult time. Here are a few reasons why everybody should create an estate plan early.
Many people do not anticipate the ever-increasing financial cost that comes with death of a loved one. The cost of a funeral in 1979 was $3000, and in 2019 the average cost is between $7000-$9000. This cost does not even include the cemetery plot, flowers, or marker for the grave itself. In the state of Florida alone, the average top to bottom cost when a loved one dies is $17,766. These costs are daunting but having a financial plan in place to protect loved ones will greatly assist with this burden.
Estate plans are not just for the benefit of the surviving loved ones, though. If you make an estate plan, you can ensure that your final wishes will be carried out how you choose. If your assets go through the probate process under the laws of intestacy (if you don’t have a will) , they may not be distributed in the manner you would have liked. You may have certain family members or other loved ones who you want to take care of and be sure that they are financially stable once you can no longer help them. An Estate Plan will give you the power to direct available assets to certain people, name the person or people who will take guardianship of your children, and much more. This will allow you to control your legacy.
When should you start your estate plan? While this answer isn’t clear for everyone, there are certain life events that will either spark the beginning of an estate plan or should make you reevaluate what you have already set up. These events include getting married, having children, buying a home, getting a divorce, a death in the family, or opening a new financial account. All of these things can change possible beneficiaries and assets available to allocate. Keep your attorney updated with all of this information.
At Kendrick Law Group, we understand that creating an estate plan can be nerve-wracking, but our attorneys have the expertise and compassion to help you through this process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the estate planning process.
Cowritten by Layne Cohen, Law Clerk