Why would I need an estate plan?
We are just regular people, my family will just get everything when I die, so why would I need an estate plan?
At our Chandler Estate Planning office, we are celebrating Estate Planning Awareness Month. We will be answering our most commonly asked questions, including why you might need an estate plan, and not just a will.
Typically, most married couples own assets jointly and hold title so that when one spouse passes, the bank account, house, car, investment account, just transitions to being held solely by the surviving spouse. While this is what most people intend, it has some serious possible pitfalls.
The money that you both worked to build in that bank account is now available for your spouse to spend in any way that he or she might want without any consideration for your wishes or providing for the next generation.
Think that’s o.k.? What if after some time, your spouse gets remarried? Now that new spouse could go out and buy a sports car with the money you intended to pass on to your children. This is a concern for many blended families.
Estate planning is a tool to help make sure that you and your spouse have a plan to protect each other and your children from possible predators It also ensures that the survivor of you is provided for and that any remaining funds are gifted in a way that is agreeable to both of you.
Did you know that the state of Arizona has an estate plan for you if you do not put one in place? Our laws tell your family where your assets go, if it has not already been planned by you, either in the way you title your assets, set up your beneficiaries, or set out your plan. However, that can have catastrophic results too – what if you named your children as your beneficiaries on your life insurance policy? That sounds like a good, solid approach, right? What if your child is eighteen when something happens to you – do you think at eighteen, your child would make great decisions on how to handle a pile of cash?
Maybe you do need an estate plan because an estate plan would allow you to set up provisions so that the money you leave for those children in through that life insurance can last them a long time and provide for the things you would want them to have – like education, and not a big weekend in Vegas.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today at 480-264-5177 to schedule your complimentary initial consultation with Heather Parker, Estate Planning Attorney, Chandler, Arizona