Planning your estate will help you organize records and prevent potential problems in the future 

Would your family know where to find your financial records, titles and insurance policies if something happened to you? Do you have a disabled child or spouse? Planning for your estate now will help you organize your records, make vital decisions while you’re still competent and ensure that your dependents are cared for. 

Most people don’t give much thought to the wording they put on titles and beneficiary designations. You may have good intentions, but an innocent error can create all kinds of problems for your family at your disability and/or death. Beneficiary designations are often out-of-date or otherwise invalid. Naming the wrong beneficiary on your tax-deferred plan, such as IRA or 401(k) accounts, can lead to devastating tax consequences. It’s much better to take the time to do this correctly now than for your family to pay an attorney to try to fix problems later. 

Estate planning does not have to be expensive 

If you don’t think you can afford a complex estate plan now, start with what you can afford. For a young family or single adult, that may mean a will, term life insurance, and powers of attorney to manage your assets and health care decisions in case of your incapacitation. Then, let your planning develop and expand as your needs change and your financial situation improves. Don’t try to do this yourself to save money. An experienced attorney will be able to provide critical guidance and peace of mind that your documents are prepared properly. 

The best time to plan your estate is now 

Nobody really likes to think about their own mortality or the possibility of being unable to make decisions for themselves. This is exactly why so many families are caught off-guard and unprepared when incapacity or death does strike. Don’t wait. You can put something in place now and change it later, which is exactly the way estate planning should be done. 

The best benefit is peace of mind 

Knowing you have a properly prepared plan in place - one that contains your instructions and will protect your family - will give you and your family peace of mind. This is one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for yourself and for those you love. 

© 2015 Utah Senior Planning