So many of us are guilty of pushing off Estate planning because it is a hard and daunting task to think about our own death. Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever own because In Pennsylvania, if you don’t have one, then the State determines where your assets will go and who will care for your children. Only 4 out of every 10 Americans have a Will. That means 60% of our country are choosing to let their State decide who should get their hard earned assets when we die and who should care for our children. This shouldn’t be a decision we leave up to the State, it should be a decision that we each make for ourselves.
When it comes to Estate Planning, if you are married, you need a Will. If you have a positive net worth, even if its minor, you need a Will. If you have children, you absolutely need a Will. When it comes to our children, not only do you want to decide how your children inherit your assets, but more importantly, you want to be able to choose a guardian for them, which is the person who will raise your children in your absence.
Estate planning, which includes a Will, Living Will and Power of Attorney, are all things we can do now to make things easier for our loved ones during difficult times. Mapping out the choices we want for ourselves, makes it easier on our family and helps prevent squabbles among family members. A Living Will, which is a document which lays out the life-saving measures you would like to have or not have, can save your family from having to make the heart-breaking choices of your care if you get sick. This document puts the decision in your hands instead of leaving it for your family to make for you.
So if Covid-19 has got you thinking about Estate Planning, now is the time. We can all do little things to help protect our family. Beyond just social distancing and staying home, we can make sure that we have all of the necessary paperwork to protect our families in this lifetime and when we pass on. Plan for the future so the State doesn’t get to make decisions for you.