Estate Planning for Regular People

When you start talking to people about planning their estates, they often respond in a similar way. It goes something like this: “I am not rich. I am a regular guy and do not have very much. There is no reason for me to go through the difficult process of getting an estate plan. My family will work everything out after I pass away.”

The assumptions being made here are that estate planning is difficult and non-wealthy people do not need to do it. As to the latter, anyone who wants to have a say in who gets their property after they pass away, needs to have an estate plan.

Families cannot just legally divide everything. The first assumption that estate planning is difficult, is not true as TCPalm discussed in “Everyday estate planning needs certain documents.”

If you do not anticipate having a large estate when you pass away, estate planning can be very simple. You only need a few documents.

You need a last will and testament to direct how any property, not disposed of in some other way, should be distributed. In some states, it is best to avoid the probate process as much as possible, so you may want to create a revocable living trust. With a trust, your family can skip costly and time-consuming probate courts. However, in some states probate is not a big concern.

Finally, you really need some end-of-life care documents, to include a power of attorney and a living will. Consequently, if you cannot make decisions for yourself due to incapacitation, someone you trust can do so for you.

All these documents can be easily attained from estate planning attorneys. Since what you need is not complicated, it should not cost you an arm and a leg.

Reference: TCPalm (April 11, 2018) “Everyday estate planning needs certain documents.”

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