Many Oregon adults do not have an estate plan. People may assume that making an estate plan is too hard or too expensive, or they may simply procrastinate because they do not want to think about the issues involved. However, there are a number of reasons that they should create one.
If you have minor children, you can use a will to appoint a guardian for them. This prevents the rest of your family from having to go through a stressful and costly court process and also removes the possibility that your children will end up with someone you would not have wanted them to be raised by. With an estate plan, you can also establish a trust if necessary to take care of assets for your children until they are old enough to inherit property.
An estate plan is important for ensuring that your family members get the assets that you want them to get and that unnecessary conflict is not created. You may have a family home and three children, but only one of the children cares about keeping and living in the home. If you do not have an estate plan, the home could pass to all three of them, and there could be a fight between the two who want to sell it and the one who wants to keep it. Careful planning can also reduce income tax that your beneficiaries might owe.
There are many other benefits to creating an estate plan. You can use it to donate to charity, care for a loved one who has special needs and protect assets from creditors or in the event that you become incapacitated, among other things.
In addition to creating an estate plan, you should review it periodically with the help of your attorney. Changes in your family or in your assets can mean that you need to make a change to your will, trust, beneficiary designation, powers of attorney or other estate planning documents.