Do I need an Estate Plan?

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan is the process of setting in place a plan to manage and distribute your assets upon your death, guardianships for minor children, and planning for during life care with the use of a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, and an advanced health care directive (called a living will).

We won't cover the powers of attorney in this post.

If you have never created a Will or a Trust (considered a Will alternative), you still have a default estate plan. This estate plan is not one that you have selected but an estate plan that the State of Idaho has created for you, called the laws of intestacy.

So, if you do not want the default estate plan, it is important that you take some time to think about:

who you want to administer your financial assets (personal representative or trustee);

who you want to leave assets to (inheritance),

how you want to leave assets to these selected beneficiaries (think minor aged kids, financially immature beneficiaries, or possibly at risk of substance abuse); and

if you have minor kids, who you would feel comfortable raising your children if you could not be there (guardian nomination).

Creating your estate plan starts with your desires and values, then whom you want to benefit and how the benefit you leave them, then we deal with your financial picture to make your plan meet your above goals.

To answer the above question, yes you need an estate plan. The real question is will your plan meet your desires.