If you do not yet have an estate plan in place, you are not alone. In fact, as many as 60% of Americans have not created a will, according to AARP.
Though you may not think you need to prepare for the end of your life, avoiding this crucial activity could lead to unintended consequences. Here are three key reasons to consider starting your estate planning.
1. To ensure the right guardian for your children
You should consider appointing a guardian in your will if you have minor or special needs children. Even when your children have another parent, you will want to prepare for the eventuality that something happens to both parents. Without a will, courts will decide who has guardianship of your children, which may lead to a decision you are not happy with.
2. To choose your beneficiaries
If you do not detail how to distribute your assets in your estate plans, state probate law will determine this for you. You may not consider this a problem if you want to leave everything to your spouse. However, in Illinois, the surviving spouse and children will split the assets.
3. To make important decisions if you cannot
If you are unable to make decisions for yourself near the end of your life, it is important that someone you trust is in charge of your health and financial welfare. During the estate planning process, you can name a trusted power of attorney and healthcare proxy to make important decisions on your behalf.
A robust estate plan will help to settle your affairs and provide for your loved ones according to your wishes.