In a recent survey conducted by Wealth Counsel LLC, 49% of those surveyed said they didn’t believe they had sufficient assets to warrant getting an estate plan.
Fact check – FALSE
There is no “required minimum” for creating an estate plan. Money is just ONE asset that can be managed within an estate plan…it need not be the reason for the plan.
Ultimately estate planning is just that – A PLAN! It’s a mechanism to ensure that people of YOUR CHOICE can act on your behalf (and/or your family’s behalf) when you can’t. Money is just one aspect of this, others are health care decisions for you, making sure your business carries on, making sure your family can carry on financially and health-wise.
Other statistics from this survey are:
• Only 40% of those surveyed had a Will;
• Only 17% of those surveyed had a Trust;
• 61% of those surveyed believed a Will was sufficient to fulfill all their instructions for
With respect to the first and last statistics about Wills, they certainly have value but function in a very limited way to help you execute on your PLAN. There are significant categories of assets not covered by Wills and additionally, the “estate administration” period can limit access to funds for one year or more.
A more complete estate plan generally contains the following documents:
• Durable Power of Attorney (named person can make financial and legal decisions for you when you are incapacitated);
• Health Care Proxy (named person can make medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated);
• Living Will (share your wishes/desires for the scope of your medical treatment if you require
catastrophic or end-of-life care);
• Revocable Trust (will be addressed in separate blog post soon);
• Last Will & Testament
Just as there are types of cars running from economy to luxury, so too you can find an estate planning attorney to suit your price range. Just ask your CPA, Financial Advisor, Real Estate attorney, friends, doctors, fitness instructor, etc. for a referral…we’re easy to find!
Remember it’s not about the money!