Those who have accumulated a small or moderate amount of net worth may wonder if an estate plan makes sense. They might think that estate planning is the province of the ultra-wealthy.
Most financial experts agree that estate planning plays a key role for nearly all adults, no matter where they live or how much wealth they have.
The benefits of estate planning
According to MarketWatch, middle-class Americans should pay attention to the organization of their finances. This will pass on money to heirs in an orderly and tax efficient manner. A number of critical documents exist to help this process along. The will directs a person’s wishes for his or her money and living minor children, as well as naming an executor of the estate. A well-prepared will names the beneficiaries who receive assets. In the case of minor children, the will names a guardian to look out for the children until they turn 18 or 21. A living trust helps the estate avoid probate, names a trustee to take charge of assets of the deceased, and can be revocable, allowing changes to reflect new situations.
The advantages of planning ahead
The US News and World Report states that nearly everyone, even those with few assets, should include some basic estate planning. This can be even more critical for members of blended families where a probate decision might not reflect the interests of the deceased. A medical power of attorney is also a valuable document. This protects a person’s wishes should he or she suffer an incapacitating injury. A trusted executor is named to carry out the wishes of the injured person.