Why put estate planning off?

Posted By Brian Collie @ Mar 29th 2010 1:40pm In: General

One of the most common responses I receive when I ask clients who have come to our office for a real estate transaction if they have a Will is, “No, I have been meaning to do that for so many years.  That is something I should probably do.”  I think that most people would prefer not to think about their death and think of estate planning as something only for either older people or rich “fat cats.”  Even if the client thinks that they probably have a need for these services (and all clients do), it will often get sent to the backburner as something that can be done later in life.  The perils of this line of thinking cannot be overstated.  In a previous blog, I stressed the importance of parents being able to name a guardian to look after their children in the unfortunate circumstance that something happened to them.  How important would you value the ability to make this selection rather than the probate court?

What about your property?  Intestacy laws in South Carolina give half of your estate to your surviving spouse and the other half to your surviving children if you die without a Will.  This would mean that your children may possibly be receiving a substantial amount of money at age 18.  This is likely not the ideal scenario that a parent would envision.  Creating a valid SC Will that includes a testamentary trust can allow the testator to allocate that these monies be distributed to their surviving children in intervals that may protect the children from spending their inheritance before they are mature enough to handle money responsibly.  Of course, many of my clients prefer to leave their entire estate to their surviving spouse.  Without a Will, none of this would be possible.    

If not now, then when? 

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Comments (1)

James Morgan - Puritan Financial Advisor says...
on 08/11/10

This would mean that your children may possibly be receiving a substantial amount of money at age 18.

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