By now, readers of this Massachusetts-based legal blog know that an estate plan can be a beneficial tool for individuals to have prepared. It can help families protect their wealth and ensure that money goes where it is intended. It can also provide guidance to survivors when loved ones pass away.
It is often thought, though, that not everyone needs an estate plan. A person may justify avoiding the topic by claiming that they are single, that they have no children, or that they do not have significant wealth. This assumption is a fallacy, however, because everyone, regardless of their relationship status or net worth, can take control of their assets with several key estate planning documents.
For example, almost anyone can benefit from executing powers of attorney. These documents give others the power to make medical and financial decisions for another person when the creator of the documents becomes incapacitated. Particularly when a person does not have a close relative, they can benefit from having an appropriate power of attorney be part of their estate plan.
Similarly, a will is a useful tool for anyone who wants a say in how their assets will be distributed when they are gone. While it can be depressing to contemplate one's own death and to plan for what will happen after they are no longer living, estate planning is vitally important to individuals of all ages and all walks of life.
The Center for Elder Law & Estate Planning provides extensive support for people who are ready to prepare their estate plans but who may not know where to start. The firm maintains a webpage on estate planning that readers may find useful as they begin their estate planning journeys.