Why Should I Care About Planning?

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Many people consider estate planning to be an act of stewardship. They spend their life maximizing the use of their time, talents, treasure, and trust, not giving a care about planning. They want to ensure that the benefits of this stewardship will continue even after the ability to control has ended. The control and benefit of everything we “own” will eventually be transferred. So planning helps control how, when, and to whom the transfer takes place, and anticipates the consequences of the transfer.

People plan in order to protect the people, causes, and things that are important to them, now and in the future. They do this by controlling whatever they can during life, and making sure that people they trust take their place when required.

Estate planning is the process of setting up how your assets and property will be distributed upon your death. Through these plans, you can ensure your assets are given to the people and organizations you care about. Additionally, estate plans can minimize the amount of taxes your estate and family will incur once you’re gone. Estate planning is a necessary venture even for those who aren’t particularly wealthy, but it’s also a complicated one.

It seems like many people devote more time to planning a vacation, choosing a car to buy, or even selecting a spot to eat dinner than they do to estate planning—deciding who will inherit their assets after they’re gone. It may not be as fun to think about as booking a trip or checking out restaurant reviews, but without estate planning, you can’t choose who gets everything that you worked so hard for.

Estate planning isn’t only for the rich. Without a plan in place, settling your affairs after you go could have a long-lasting—and costly—impact on your loved ones, even if you don’t have a pricey home, large IRA, or valuable art to pass on. Not convinced that an estate plan is necessary? Consider these four reasons why you should have one and avoid potentially devastating consequences for your heirs.