Not all of us own a house. Not all of us have pension plans, stocks and shares or thousands of dollars in the bank. Some go through life owning very little at all. Others may have had money and property once but watched it disappear due to divorce, ill health or bad luck.
So, if you do not have much to leave your heirs, do you still need an estate plan?
Everyone needs an estate plan
It is correct that passing on your assets to the people you choose is one of an estate plan’s key roles. Yet it is not all it does. It also looks after you. Here are some of the ways it can do that:
- Medical issues: You are walking along the street when a car hits you. The emergency services show up and need to decide whether to give you life-saving treatment. If you have no desire to be resuscitated, let alone kept technically alive but essentially dead for weeks in a vegetative state, you should make that clear in an advanced health care directive. You can also give someone medical power of attorney to make such decisions for you.
- Legal and financial issues: You are lying in the hospital, unconscious after the crash. It’s Tuesday, and your rent was due yesterday, along with other bills you needed to pay. If you come around, the last thing you need is to find your landlord has kicked you out, and you have racked up a load of late payment penalties. If you give someone power of attorney, they can get old of your funds to pay the bills on your behalf.
However great or small your wealth, it is always wise to make an estate plan. Get help to ensure yours covers all you need.