If you’ve seen any of my previous emails or posts on social media, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “protect your family with an estate plan”. But what exactly are you protecting them from?

Here are 5 things a good estate plan does:

1. Protect your children from the risk of being placed in the wrong hands.
If you have young children your kids could be placed in the care of Child Protective Services or in the custody and care of someone you would never want, like that one family member who has good intentions, but you’d never want raising your kids. The kid protection plan component of my estate plans ensure your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want.

2. Protect your family from financial ruin.
You are 9x more likely to become disabled than to pass away. If you or the primary provider for your household became disabled, whether temporarily or permanently, your family may be unable to pay bills, communicate with creditors and banks, or legally access online accounts to continue managing the finances which can lead to delinquent bills, foreclosure, or even bankruptcy. Your estate plan should ensure that your family can take care of everyday responsibilities if you become disabled or pass away.

3. Protect your loved ones from court intervention and court costs.
If you pass away or become incapacitated without a will, trust, or other vital legal documents, your family will have to go through the probate court to settle your affairs. The court process involves a lot of time, expense, and leaves the final decision in the hands of a judge rather than you and your loved ones.

4. Protect family from undue stress and conflict.
When a family is dealing with the loss or incapacity of a loved one it is undoubtedly stressful and difficult. When you have an estate plan that has already provided for your medical treatment, settling your legal and financial affairs, passing your assets, and many other important things, the relief your family will experience is invaluable. On the other hand, when things aren’t in order, disagreements about your medical treatment and conflicts over financial distribution can cause irreparable damage to family relationships.

5. Protect adult children from predators, creditors, and even themselves.
Whether you plan to pass on your assets to children, grandchildren, or are currently assisting aging parents, you want to have an estate plan to make sure you are giving away what you want and when you want while avoiding unintended consequences such as taxes, disinheriting children from a prior relationship, or the risk of your adult children losing an inheritance because of divorce, being sued, or bad money management.

When I work with my clients to create their estate plan it is so much more than drafting legal documents. It is about helping you achieve complete financial wellness. It is about giving you peace of mind that you and your loved ones will be cared for consistent with your wishes without court intervention while preserving family harmony.  Lastly, I help my clients leave a lasting legacy with the people you love most.

As part of my Get Informed Make A Plan campaign, I’m hosting free educational workshops and live webinars on estate planning every month and I want to invite you to attend.

The next workshop is this Saturday May 21 at 10am at the Smyrna Community Center. And when you attend you earn an education credit (value $250) that you may use to schedule a meeting to discuss a plan that fits your needs.  Register online.

I hope to see you there!