There are many different reasons that you should put together an estate plan, not the least of which is giving yourself peace of mind. Some other examples of reasons to put together a comprehensive estate planning include control over your assets, privacy, and protections for your family.
But one other thing to consider has to do with time and money, the most basic of elements that can influence your loved ones after you have passed away. Any estate that does not include a will is referred to as intestate succession and will go to probate court.
This is both slow and costly for your loved ones and the average probate decision can take anywhere from a year to a year and a half if there are complicated factors involved. In addition to this, you must consider the financial strain of such a decision. Consider that Prince’s estate has already paid out nearly $6 million in expenses to sort out the challenges with his lack of estate planning. While this is an extreme case, it’s just one example of just how much money can be wasted by failing to schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney. The average cost of probate court can be anywhere from 2% to 3% of the estate’s net value, which could be excessive as associated attorney’s fees and court costs can add up. Since probate nearly always costs several times as much as hiring an estate planning professional, add this to your list of reasons why you want to have a consultation with an estate planning lawyer. Having a consultation with an attorney doesn’t necessarily obligate you to work with him or her for the future of your estate but it’s a good idea to ask your questions now and do everything you can to minimize the possibility that your loved ones will be faced with difficult decisions, the time expended and the court process and the general frustration of having to go through probate.