Without a Will, the Way to Protect Your Wishes May Not Be Clear

Planning for certain events in the future can be a challenge, but Los Angeles residents do it all the time. We set up a savings account or retirement fund. We research prices for vacations or look for bigger homes in anticipation of starting a family. These are events that people generally look forward to and make plans for in order to ensure they are prepared.

However, when it comes to unfortunate life events, people may not be as willing to commit to a plan. For example, did you know that only an estimated 35 percent of people have a will in place? Without a will, trust or other pieces of an estate plan in place, a person can make it very difficult for loved ones to know what to do with his or her assets and care if the worst was to happen.

Unexpected events happen all the time that put a person’s life in danger. In the blink of an eye, a person’s life could change because of a house fire, car accident or sudden medical ailment. While it can be scary to think about these things, ignoring them does not mean that they could not happen.

This is why it can be crucial for parents, spouses and others who have people depending on them financially or otherwise will want to consider putting together a plan. This can include a will, power of attorney or advanced health care directive that can help others understand what they need to do to make sure they are complying with a person’s wishes. Without some direction, it can be an enormous burden for loved ones to try and make decisions regarding health care and asset distribution.

Taking control of the future can be as straightforward as making a plan and putting it down in writing. Once it is in place, there can be an enormous sense of relief that, should the worst happen, loved ones will have some direction on what to do.

Source: The Washington Post, “Put your estate plan on paper before it’s too late,” Michelle Singletary, March 20, 2014