People have all sorts of reasons for putting off estate planning but most of these reasons are easily debunked.
Often people think their estate is too small to bother with drawing up a will but usually that is not the case. Even if you only have a regular full time job and no savings or investments estate planning allows you to deal with your superannuation which may also constitute a life insurance policy. You may also have items of great sentimental value. Assuming that family and friends will know who should have each item is a mistake.
Another common reason people give for putting off estate planning is that writing a will is only necessary later in life. The reality is that people often die before their time. This can be particularly heartbreaking in the case of young parents who die intestate. It can be a lengthy court process for family members to receive inheritance and to have guardians of any children appointed.
The legal system uses a predetermined formula to distribute the estate on intestacy. By putting off estate planning until it’s too late you run the risk that your estate will be settled according to the laws of intestacy which may not reflect your own wishes. By specifically drawing up a list of beneficiaries, you avoid the risk of court challenges and feuds within families which is the last thing that should result from the death of a loved one.
Another aspect of estate planning is deciding who will make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Fightdimentia.org reports there are more than 1.2 million carers of dementia patients and nearly 24,000 people with early onset dementia, which affects people as young as thirty.
In your estate planning you should appoint someone to be your attorney should you be unable to make decisions on your own behalf. You will have peace of mind knowing someone you trust can make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. If you put off estate planning you may lose control over who will be making the decisions that affect your life should something happen to you.
Stop putting off estate planning today. To talk to an experienced wills and estates lawyer about creating a valid will call Dominic Wilson on 02 8268 4000.