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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:35 pm
Lack of planning when it comes to your estate is a blueprint for disaster. There are multitudes of possibilities that can ensue without that most basic of documents--the written will. Without a will, you can't select the beneficiaries of your estate--the state government will do that for you. You can't make gifts to close friends or relatives. You won't be able to determine a guardian for your minor children. Furthermore, your federal estate taxes will likely be higher, as well as your state death taxes. Your income savings may be lost to such expenditures as higher probate costs. Then there are still the burdens to your surviving relatives for outstanding loans, credit card debt, household bills, and funeral costs that still have to be paid from your estate. Not enough life insurance means these costs might not be covered. No power of attorney means that decisions about your estate may be made by a stranger, a court-appointed administrator who will handle matters of personal importance to you and your family, and who has no personal interest or concern for you or your estate. Lack of planning can keep the disposition of an estate on hold months, even years. Lack of estate planning can also mean that relatives and friends might have to endure unpleasant legal matters without the power and protection of the law. Begin your estate planning today by consulting an accountant, financial planner, qualified attorney, or an estate-planning specialist in your area.
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