It is understandable that the idea of putting together an “Estate
Plan” sounds very formal, time consuming and overwhelming. There
can be a lot of unfamiliar documents and concepts involved. In addition,
it can bring up the potentially uncomfortable thought of your death. No
wonder it is easy to decide it may be better to tackle this chore tomorrow,
rather than today.
However, estate planning doesn’t have to be something to dread. If
it is approached in small steps, it can be a chance to really think about
and plan for how your family will be taken care of in case something happens
to you. Especially if you have minor children, expressing your wishes
for who will be their guardian and how you wish to have them raised is
an incredibly important safety net to put in place.
Although you are the one who has to put the estate plan in place, estate
planning is really for your family’s benefit, not yours. By putting
an estate plan in place, you are giving them the gift of a well thought
out plan in an otherwise emotional and unsettled time. Without your estate
plan in place, they receive a plan that the law feels is best for them
in a “one size fits all” manner rather than a plan that is
specifically suited to them and their needs without you.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to
be started. Let an estate planning attorney break the process down into
manageable steps for you and then guide you, one decision and one step
at a time. Before you know it, each of your individual decisions will
come together into a complete estate plan.