Estate planning is about much more than what you leave for your heirs after you die. You may even be avoiding thinking about planning your estate because you might associate it with your ultimate demise, and who wants to think about that? But it's not just about you, it's about your family too and what would be best for them.
There are many things that encompass a thorough estate plan, which typically includes directives on what you would like done should you be unable to make decisions on your own. For instance, would you want doctors to keep you alive on life support or with feeding tubes? Who would you want to take care of financial decisions on your behalf? These are the kinds of questions that your estate plan could address.
Estate planning is for everyone
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be a millionaire to have an estate plan. Your assets will have to go to someone whether your estate is small or large. So, you might not have a Lamborghini, but your vehicle will go to someone. What about any jewellery or antique or anything with sentimental value? You most likely will want those things to go to specific people whom you can name in your estate plan.
Another misconception is that only the elderly have estate plans. Life is unpredictable, and no one knows what curveballs may be coming. It is best for everyone to prepare for unforeseen life events. Estate planning is especially important if you're newly married or just starting a family.
Not just for the dead
There are many ways an estate plan can be of benefit to you while you're still a part of this mortal coil. If, for whatever reason, you become unable to care for yourself or to make sound decisions because of mental infirmity, you will have already given the directives as to your wishes in your estate plan. You can incorporate an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) into your plan naming a person or persons you would like to look after making decisions on your behalf, following your wishes.
Avoiding family feuds
When you clearly define your wishes on paper in black and white, the likelihood of family members bickering over your things or second-guessing what you would want is small. Estate planning also gives you the opportunity to discuss these things with your loved ones to get their input if you so choose. Perhaps there are some things certain individuals would like, and this will allow them to make their wishes known to you.
Getting legal advice may help to answer any questions you have about how estate planning can be of benefit to you and your family. An experienced British Columbia lawyer can advise you on what your estate plan could include and can help you fashion one that ensures your final wishes will be met.