You do have an estate, and if you don’t have a plan, a court steps in and handles it … and perhaps not the way you’d like it done.
We are all aware of the estates left behind by the very wealthy and don’t think of the term “estate” for the ordinary person, but as the Detroit Lakes Online points out in “Help your loved ones: Get ahead on estate planning,” almost everyone alive has an estate.
Estates are not just something the very wealthy have. The term refers to the totality of everything you own when you pass away. Even if you live alone in a small apartment, you have some possessions. Homeless people often own something, even if it is nothing more than the clothes they wear. In fact, very few people can claim not to own anything at all.
The fact that you have an estate, no matter how large or small, means estate planning is appropriate for you. Estate planning lets you determine who gets all of the possessions that make up your estate. It also lets you plan for who will handle things for you should you be unable to handle everything for yourself.
Even if you do not care who gets your possessions or who handles your affairs, you probably have people in your life who will care. If you do not make those plans, then they will have to clean up a potential mess and have a much more difficult time doing so.
To avoid a mess in court, work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create your estate plan.
Reference: Detroit Lakes Online (July 5, 2016) “Help your loved ones: Get ahead on estate planning”