Problem 1: No one knows what kind of medical care you want.
Estate plans don’t just look ahead to when you die, but they can also be instrumental for when you become sick or injured. A good estate plan will contain medical directives that express what your wishes are in the event you can no longer express yourself. If you don’t have an estate plan, your spouse, children, or family members may have to make these choices for you. If they don’t know what you want, this can be an incredibly stressful decision for them to make. It can also lead to significant family disputes or disagreements that end up in court.
Problem 2: Your family loses its inheritance.
While your closest family members are automatically entitled to inherit from you after you die, not having an estate plan can significantly decrease how much they inherit. If you don’t have a plan, much of your property will have to go through the often lengthy probate process. This can involve attorneys fees, probate fees, and other expenses that will eat away at any potential inheritance. A good estate plan will limit these expenses and ensure that you leave as much as possible to your family.
Risk 3: You leave someone out of an inheritance.
If you do not make your inheritance choices by creating a proper estate plan, your choices will be made for you by your state laws. These laws already exist and pre-determine who will inherit your property even if the inheritors are not those you would have chosen. Further, these inheritance laws may not include other people whom you wanted to leave an inheritance.