Don't Hesitate: Protect Your Estate!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Not enough people think about things in the long-term. This seems weird to say, especially when a lot of us are actually spending a large portion of our time worrying about the future! But there is definitely one element of our future that we tend not to be too much focus on, at least not in any deep, meaningful, or useful way: death.

Cheerful way to start an article, right?

Sure, most of us probably think about death quite often. We may even occasionally imagine our funerals, stuff like that. But it’s usually not very practical thinking. And it’s this lack of practical thinking that can come back and bite you - or, rather, come back and bite your loved ones.

I’m guessing that you haven’t figured out the secret to immortality. Nor would I recommend that you keep trying to find it! You’re not going to live forever, I’m afraid - and that’s why you should be putting your focus into protecting your estate. After all, all of your belongings were things you worked hard to get, right? The things you own now should be going to your family when you’re gone.

And if you don’t start protecting your estate now, then you risk putting your loved ones through a lot more stress in the future than they’re going to know how to deal with.

You don’t actually know when you’re going to die. It’s important to remember this, because it’s a lack of this sort of thought that leads people to putting off the sort of tasks that actually protect an estate.

We could go on for a while about how unfun it is to think about this sort of stuff. Or, we could just get these of tasks over and done with right now! Look into working with an attorney to figure out a will and testament. Go to resources like Insurance Hero to look into a life insurance plan that works for you. Once you’ve actually done these tasks, you’ll have a bit more peace of mind about the whole thing. Or, at least, you’ll be able it put off thinking about it any further for a little while!

But why do people not take care of these things sooner, aside from the inherent unpleasantness of thinking about death? Perhaps because many don’t know what happen if they don’t have their estate protected.

There seems to be a widespread belief that your assets will just automatically go to your next of kin. But this isn’t how things play out.

Remember the word “protection” as you think about protecting your estate. Ask yourself what you’re actually protecting your estate from. Answer? The government! If you don’t have any kind of estate planning, the government will take as much of your estate as possible, and charge your next of kin egregious fees if they can’t outright take your property. Some people are a bit shocked to learn about this (it’s called the Estate Tax in most places). But it’s the government who will take a sizeable chunk of your stuff for themselves if you don’t take steps to ensure your assets go to your loved ones.

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