In addition to Halloween and postseason baseball, October is also the time of the year that is host to National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Between October 20 and October 26, individuals and families in the Treasure Coast area can do themselves a favor by considering some of the most important estate planning issues around today.
Estate planning is one of those areas of the law that, even though people might be aware of its importance, most people don’t like to think about if they can avoid it. It’s estimated that a majority of Americans take no estate planning steps of any kind. Unfortunately, this means that many American families will have to deal with some serious legal issues once a loved one dies and fails to leave behind a plan of their own.
If this is something you might want to avoid, you might want to take some time this National Estate Planning Awareness Week to consider some of the most important issues surrounding this vital area of the law.
National Estate Planning Awareness Week
- Estates. No matter how old you are, how much money you have, or how extensive your family relationships, everyone leaves behind an estate. An estate is simply the legal issues and property you leave behind after you die. Whether you leave behind a lot or a little, you will leave behind an estate. You will also leave an estate should you ever lose your ability to make choices or communicate them, known as becoming legally incapacitated.
- Estate plans. If everyone has an estate, everyone can also have an estate plan. An estate plan is simply the legal tools you create that allow you to exert control over the estate you leave behind should you die or become incapacitated. Depending on the types of tools you create, and the kind of control you want to exert, your estate plan can include any number of different types of legal tools.
- Probate. The legal process that applies to the estates left behind by deceased and incapacitated people is generally known as probate. When you create an estate plan you will create tools that will address the legal realities imposed by probate. These realities are often expensive and time-consuming, but with the creation of a proper estate plan, you can significantly decrease, and potentially eliminate, the role that probate will have in your estate.
- Pets. A lot of people are surprised to find out that they can create estate planning tools that will safeguard the needs of their beloved animal companions. With a properly created pet plan, every animal lover can rest assured that, regardless of what happens to them, their pets will be properly cared for.