Protecting your family after your death is not an easy subject to think about, but as the new year rolls in and you think about your resolutions, it is a very important one – especially if you want to ensure your assets go to the right people.
The first step you should take toward making a will?
Contact a Nebraska lawyer with experience in writing wills.
You need to make some decisions, such as choosing your beneficiaries, deciding on a personal representative (also known as an executor), deciding who should be guardian of your minor children, and choosing who gets what after you die.
You may think that your income, assets, and bank accounts don’t warrant the creation of a will. But are you really willing to give up the control you have over the distribution of your assets, no matter how small, or the ability to say who will care for your minor children?
In Nebraska, your assets will be distributed, no matter how much (or how little) you own. That distribution can be via your own will or trust, or through the drawn-out Nebraska intestate (dying without a will) probate process. And the intestate probate process, in addition to being expensive, takes none of your wishes into account.
With the rise of crowdsourcing websites, GoFundMe has made a name for itself by helping people in need raise money for medical bills and similar expenses.
While that is certainly a noble cause, it is important to remember that this type of site is not a replacement for insurance…or being careful.
What happens when parents don’t teach their kids how to handle money? Something like this…
Charles was a sharp kid. He was popular at school and enrolled in gifted classes. He was a varsity member of the football team and had a dreamboat beauty of a girlfriend. He was creative and wrote sketches and short plays for theater class. He played guitar and wrote songs and was a genuinely kind person. A Renaissance man. He was the kind of kid that teachers and older relatives and friends’ parents were all excited to see where life was going to take him.
Brain hemorrhage. Stroke. Spinal injury. There are a variety of sudden impacts to the brain that could occur in mere seconds, either from an unforeseen impact like a car accident or natural causes. In many instances, the sufferer is rendered comatose, unable to communicate to medical staff and loved ones, and ultimately helpless in the decisions being made concerning his own life.
We provide you with the following hypothetical scenario…
Robert was nearing 80 years old. He recently had a health scare battling pneumonia and, as a result, figured his beloved brown poodle, appropriately named Cocoa, would outlive him. Robert had spent his working years running a successful auto parts franchise and was quite comfortable financially. He had lost touch with his only child, a son named Darren, and Cocoa was the most important individual in his world. After the near-death experience, he decided to contact his lawyer about including Cocoa in his will.
The old joke is that wherever there’s a will, there’s a relative. But what is estate planning? Who needs to do it? What are the benefits of planning your estate (or not doing so)?
The simple answer? A will says what happens to your stuff after you die, and it can also say who will care for your children. There is always a plan in place for the distribution of your assets after your death. It’s either the plan you create…or the plan that the State of Nebraska already has in place for you, without a care for your input or wishes. An estate plan can also provide for you while you are still living. For example, an estate plan can provide for healthcare decision-making in the event of your incapacity, financial decision making, and asset protection.
As a young adult starting out in your professional career, you may not have thought about life insurance, wills, and dividing your assets in the event of your passing—but you should!
Whether you have started a family, or are planning to one day, it’s a good idea to decide how you want to take care of your family. This includes setting up a plan for distributing your hard-earned money and possessions, and it also includes planning for any periods during which you might be disabled or otherwise unable to handle your own affairs. Make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.
Here’s a cheerful thought: time is passing by us every day. While we (technically) age, many of us don’t “feel” the age our number of birthdays otherwise indicates.
Mortality isn’t something we care to think about. Whether because of fear, sentiment, or the belief that we are going to be here forever, many people haven’t taken the steps necessary to protect their life’s earnings or their families.
Truth is, everyone needs a will or estate plan. It doesn’t matter how big or small your estate might be—every estate needs a plan. And you’re never too young to have one.
Our legal team is ready to help. Please fill out the form below to set up a free consultation with attorney Jason Bottlinger.