Halloween is around the corner and it is time to go trick-or-treating. Costumes, pumpkins, candies and whole lotta fun, Halloween is certainly a fun time. You know what’s the scariest part about Halloween? Hint: we are not talking about ghosts.
It is terrifying that 6 out of 10 Americans do not have Estate Planning documents in place. This means, when they die intestate (i.e., without a Will), their Estate will be divided to their family members according to the state rules. One must always have an Estate Plan in place so that their property can be distributed to people of their choosing.
In spite of the numerous advantages, benefits and financial savings that comes with a proper Estate Plan, people still procrastinate on creating one.
5 Spooktacular Estate Planning Excuses to make this Halloween
Why should I care about my assets after I’m dead?
Right! All the hard-earned money and property you accumulated when you were alive doesn’t matter when you are gone. We totally agree with you!
But have you given a thought as to what must happen to these assets? Should they go to your family members? Or, a part of it should be distributed to charitable trusts while the rest can be distributed among your family members?
What about family heirlooms? The gold brooch that was passed down from your grandmother to your mother to you? You want your state to decide whom it must be passed down to? Or, would you want to make that decision?
We care for our family members when we are alive so don’t you think we should make arrangements in a way that is beneficial for them when we are no longer around?
If I talk too much about it, I’ll jinx myself.
Jinx? Of course, it’s Halloween time so hocus-pocus and wingardium leviosa, your Estate Planning thoughts will fly out the window!
You might say thinking about Estate Planning is a jinx. But the logical part of your brain knows this is not the case. Death is an inevitable part of your life (unless you have found the fountain of elixir!), the timing of which you mostly cannot control.
Instead of procrastinating or ‘jinxing’, think of it this way: by creating an Estate Plan, you are taking advantage of the things you can control in your life. You can make arrangements for your assets and make sure they are passed on to people of your choosing.
Psst, we also think listing your assets can be a part of a fun Halloween activity.
I do not have anything of value
If there was an award for the best ‘Estate Planning Excuse’, “I do not have anything of value” would surely win the prize.
For most people, this statement simply isn’t true. Do you have a car or a house? Have you invested in life insurance or retirement planning? Do you own cryptocurrencies? Are you a social media influencer or a blogger?
All these count as assets of value. Your photos on cloud or Facebook might not have any financial value but they are precious to you and your loved ones. By creating an Estate Plan for your tangible assets and an Estate Plan for your Digital Assets (also known as Digital Estate Planning), you are making sure these assets are well looked after, when you are no longer around to care for them.
Estate Planning is not just setting up your finances or assets in order. A comprehensive Estate Plan also involves health care decisions (Advance HealthCare Directives) and Power of Attorneys decisions in situations where you are no longer capable of making them.
Estate Planning is Expensive
You know what is more expensive than not having an Estate Plan in place? Your family members running from one court case to another, trying to get access to your assets after your death – some of which are rightfully theirs to inherit.
Most of the Estate Planning documents are prepared by a legal professional and authorized by a notary. This might cost you some dollars but think of the benefits you and your family members will have once there is a clear-cut plan in place.
A well-prepared Estate Plan also protects your assets from creditors, predators and tax liabilities. As your Estate moves to probate, your Last Will and Testament tells the judge how you want your assets to be handled and how your property must be distributed and to whom. Without this document, the probate process could expose your loved ones to unnecessary costs or loss of assets.
I do not have time for Estate Planning
Now, how do we address this situation? Call The Doctor and travel back in time in the TARDIS? That would be like a dream come true, right? Going back in time and setting things right – let’s keep the issue of parallel universes and paradoxes aside for now.
Without going too science-fiction-y about it, Estate Planning is beneficial to you in the long run. Don’t you pay your bills and insurance premiums on time? Keep Estate Planning work in the same priority lists as these.
In the long run, you are most likely to give yourself a pat on the back for making time to create an Estate Plan. Once you have an Estate Plan in place, unless there are some major changes in your life (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.) you do not need to update it often.
In the modern world, making arrangements for your Digital Assets is as important as making arrangements for your physical assets. You can create a separate Estate Plan exclusively for your Digital Assets.
An Estate Plan for Digital Assets is known as a Digital Estate Plan. As is the case in any kind of planning, the first step is to list your assets. (Didn’t we mention that ‘listing your assets’ can be a fun Halloween activity?)
Learn more about creating a Digital Estate Plan and safeguard your Digital Assets from identity thefts and hackers. Sign up with Clocr and get all the help you need in creating your very first Digital Estate Plan.