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The estate plan is woven into the fabric of every comprehensive financial plan. This is the reason it is so important to ensure your wishes are carried out through proper legal documents, such as wills, trusts, and POAs. These legal documents will provide explicit instructions stating whom you want to receive your assets, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it.
If you do not have a plan, your state will have a plan for you, but it may not be appropriate for your family.
At disability: If your name is on the title of your assets and you cannot conduct business due to mental or physical incapacity, only a court appointee can sign for you. The court, not your family, will control how your assets are used to care for you through a guardianship. It can become extremely expensive and time consuming it can be difficult to end even if you recover.
At your death: If you die without an intentional estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to the probate laws in your state. In many states if you are married and have children your spouse along with children will each receive a share. That means your spouse could receive only a fraction of your estate, which may not be enough to live on. If you have minor children or special needs child, the court will control their inheritance. If both parents die simultaneously, (such as a tragic accident) the court will appoint a guardian without knowing whom you would have chosen.
Given the choice you may prefer these matters be handled privately by your family, not by the courts. You may prefer to keep control of who receives what and when. If you have young children, you may prefer to have a say in who will raise them if you cannot
With our guidance and the help of a legal professional you will be able to create an estate plan that will be right for your family.
Estate Management 101
Securities America and its representatives do not provide legal advice; therefore it is important to coordinate with your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.