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Who Needs an Estate Plan? The Answer is Everyone!


Creating an estate plan isn’t just for the wealthy or elderly—it’s a crucial step for everyone, regardless of age or financial status. An estate plan encompasses more than just distributing assets; it includes decisions about medical care, guardianship, and legacy wishes.

All individuals, including those with limited financial resources, should consider having an estate plan. The plan can include provisions for minor children, appointing medical and financial agents, and specifying how personal belongings should be distributed. These aspects are crucial regardless of one's financial standing.

Age is also not a determining factor when considering the need for an estate plan. The unfortunate reality is accidents and unexpected illnesses can happen at any age, making it essential for anyone over the age of eighteen to outline their wishes regarding medical care, end-of-life decisions, and asset distribution. Without a plan in place, the state can decide these matters, which can lead to conflicts and unintended outcomes.

If you can think of no other reason to execute an estate plan, consider the peace of mind and reduction of stress for loved ones. Knowing that your affairs are in order can alleviate anxiety and uncertainty during difficult times. It also provides clear guidance to family members, reducing the potential for disputes or confusion.

Having a basic estate plan with the four essential documents is a proactive step that benefits everyone by providing clarity, protection, and peace of mind in various life circumstances. The four documents everyone, regardless of financial situation or age, should have are:

1) Last Will and Testament

2) Health Care Power of Attorney

3) Living Will and

4) Durable Power of Attorney

Depending on each individual’s circumstance more complex estate planning documents, such as a Revocable Living Trust, could be appropriate. This is why it is important to seek advice from an experienced estate planning attorney who can ensure your desires are clearly expressed in a properly drafted and executed estate plan.

Cameron A. Crump, Estate Planning Attorney

The McIntosh Law Firm, P.C.