Why one should not avoid estate planning

There are numerous Michigan residents who do not have estate plans in place. Why? Everyone has their own reasons. However, there are also good reasons as to why one should not avoid the estate planning process.

According to a recent study by BMO Wealth Management, 52 percent of the participants said that they do not have estate plans prepared. This number is on par with the belief that half of the adult population in the United States have done little, if anything, to get their affairs in order in the event of death or incapacitation. That is quite a few people who are leaving their assets, selves and loved ones completely unprotected.

So, why should one not avoid estate planning? Three big reasons come to mind. First, without at least a will in place, when someone dies, what happens to his or her estate will be in the hands of the court, guided by the state's laws of intestacy. Second, if asset protection measures are not taken, estate taxes may be extremely high. Finally, third, if one has minor children, the decision of who will take care of them will be made by a judge if a guardian is not declared.

Estate planning is not necessarily a walk in the park. No one wants to think about his or her own death or becoming incapacitated, but failing to do so can have severe consequences for oneself and/or one's family. An experienced attorney can help Michigan residents set up the protections they want and need, all while making the process as painless as possible.

Source: thestreet.com, "As Americans Blanch at Estate Planning, Financial Advisors Need to Spur Clients to Action", Brian O'Connell, April 12, 2017