Naperville Lawyer Explains Why You Are Rich Enough for an Estate Plan

estate planning, Naperville estate planning attorneyIt is an often-cited number, but it bears repeating: about 60 percent of American adults do not have any type of estate plan in place. Some of those adults, of course, include young men and women fresh out of high school or college, so their lack of an estate plan is somewhat understandable, but why more than two out of five baby boomers—who are now approaching age 70—do not currently have a plan in place.

In my practice as an estate planning lawyer, I hear all sorts of reasons for why people have put off creating an estate plan. The most common justification is that people do not think they have enough of an estate for an estate plan to matter very much. Such thinking, however, is not accurate. Regardless of your tax bracket or accumulated wealth, an estate plan can offer you and your family security and peace of mind.

You Have an Estate

Do you have a checking account? Do you own a home or a car? Even if the answer to these questions is “no,” you have an estate. You probably own jewelry, furniture, and other belongings, even if their value is not substantial. The fact of the matter is that you have estate even if you own very little. If something tragic were to happen to you, what becomes of your lease agreement or your credit card payments? What about your utility companies and your last tax return? A modest estate plan allows you to appoint someone to organize and oversee your affairs, no matter how many or how few assets you have.

The Rest of Your Life

The other element of estate planning that is often overlooked is that an estate plan does not just apply to what happens after your death. Many estate planning instruments—including powers of attorney and advance medical directives—address concerns that may arise while you are still alive. A power of attorney for property, for example, can give someone else the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf if you ever become incapacitated and unable to make such choices for yourself.

If you were to suffer an injury or an incapacitating illness without an estate plan in place, it is possible that the court may appoint a person to serve as your guardian—and that guardian might not be someone that you would have chosen. With an estate plan, you can consider such concerns in advance and discuss your plans with the person or people you have selected. Should the need ever arise, they will then be prepared to carry out your wishes without second-guessing what you really would have wanted.

Call Us for Help

At The Gierach Law Firm, we offer guidance to individuals and families of all income levels and socioeconomic groups. Contact one of our experienced Naperville estate planning attorney to learn more about how we can help you. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.