Do You Need an Estate Plan?

I don't know. Do you have a kid?

Yes? Then absolutely.

Why?

If you and your spouse get hit by a bus tomorrow, guess who decides who takes care of your little one?

Grandma? Your sister?

Nope. The State of California (or wherever you live).

There's something called the probate court. It's the court that decides what happens to your children (and stuff) if you're gone…

…unless you have an estate plan.

If you have an estate plan, then the probate court doesn't make any decisions for you. YOU decide what happens to your kids and stuff if you're gone.

So do you need an estate plan? Only if you don't want some judge making those decisions for you.

But where do you start? What decisions do you need to make? What do other people like you do?

There's 3 steps:

1. Decide:

a. Who will take care of your kids?
b. Who will take care of the money for your kids?
c. What can they use your money for?

2. Talk: Discuss your decisions with those you've designated. Make sure they are up to the task.

3. Draft: Make your decisions official (and legal) by creating an estate plan with an estate attorney.

Pretty simple, right?

You'd think. Just wait until you try to do it. On average, it takes our Financial Zen members 3-6 months to make the decisions and talk to their people.

We're not estate attorneys, but we quarterback our Financial Zen members through the process. So if you want some help getting pointed in the right direction, schedule a few minutes with us.

BONUS TIP: A will is NOT an estate plan. This is a common source of confusion. Even if you have a will, your kids (and your stuff) will go through probate court.

DISCLAIMER:  This publication is for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice.  These statements have been simplified for illustration purposes.  Consult your financial planner or tax advisor for help with your specific situation.