5 Reasons Why You Should Start Estate Planning TODAY!

Many people mistakenly believe that estate planning is only for the old or for the very rich. In reality, there are few certainties in life and the sooner you start your estate plan, the more options you have. Whether you are 25 and single, or 65 with children and grandchildren, it is never too early or too late to create your estate plan. At Hulbert & Associates, we can help you make a plan to fit your unique needs. In the meantime, here are some of the main reasons why you should start estate planning today.

  1.       Avoid Probate

When you die without a Will or estate plan, it can turn into a mess for your loved ones. In addition to dealing with their grief, probate court can be very expensive and time consuming for your family members. By using trusts and other estate planning tools, you can securely and efficiently pass along your assets.  

  1.       Privacy

As with any court matter, estates that go through probate become a matter of public record. Although your Will is also available to the public, most people don’t want all of the details of their estate known to everyone. By making an estate plan with the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can keep the details of your estate and finances completely private.

  1.       Protect Your Assets

If you have a relative whom you know that you don’t want to inherit any of your assets, or if you’re worried about some distant relative coming out of the woodwork, a solid estate plan can prevent them from having any claims. Unless you take care of this now, an unwanted heir could successfully seek a portion of your estate later through probate.

Additionally, protecting their assets is a main reason why many people, including those who already have an estate plan, are meeting with an estate plan attorney. Once a creditor sues you, it’s too late to execute a plan that can protect your assets. Instead, having a solid financial plan within a comprehensive estate plan will protect your assets for you and your beneficiaries for any unwanted creditors. The key is being proactive about it.

  1.       Loss of Capacity

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that we will all have our physical and mental health for our entire lives. If you suddenly become incompetent and unable to manage your own affairs, the courts will select a person to do this for you…unless you have a plan. When you have an estate plan, you get to pick that person. This takes the load off your family and prevents the court from selecting someone whom you would not approve.

  1.       Make Sure Your Loved Ones are Cared For

If you have minor children, ailing parents, or adult children or family members who need special care, naming who will take care of them as their guardian after you are gone is essential to their future health and well-being. Without proper legal documents in place, the state gets to decide who is best fit to care for them with no guarantee that it is the same person you would have selected yourself. Avoid this by speaking with an attorney to execute the necessary documents.

Thinking about what happens to your assets after you’re gone or unable to care for yourself is scary, and oftentimes it feels easier to avoid it and just carry on with your life. But, as we all know, life can be very unpredictable. At Hulbert & Associates we understand the sensitive nature of dealing with planning your estate and have the experience to make sure your loved ones are well provided for in your absence. If you are in Colorado and looking to start an estate plan, revise a current plan, or just looking for advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Written by Lori Hulbert

Together the attorneys of the firm have nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships and conservatorships and civil litigation.