Crafting an estate plan is something all Illinois residents should do. While it is important for people of all ages, it is even more critical for those 55 and older. However, recent research indicates that those in this age range have not taken the necessary steps to draft estate planning documents. According to Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, almost half of those 55 and older have failed to craft any estate plan. Since many family disputes, financial problems and more have emanated from the failure to take this basic step, it is important to understand the importance of these documents and to discuss them with a legal professional.
Financial planners believe that people are not taking these steps not because of finances, but because it is something they prefer not to think about despite its inevitability. This is not limited to people with moderate assets and income. Wealthy people often fail to draft a will or other estate planning documents.
A vast majority do not realize the negative impact not having these documents can bring. These difficulties can arise not only if a person dies, but if they become incapacitated and do not have a living will or healthcare proxy. People could find themselves receiving care they did not want and their entire financial life can be severely damaged by the failure to cobble together even a basic estate plan. Even those who do not have a spouse and children should create an estate plan. Dying intestate might cause problems for family members and delay the surviving relatives from collecting the person’s assets.
Although it can be unpleasant to think about the reason these documents are needed, that does not mean they should be ignored. A law firm that helps clients with drafting estate planning documents should be consulted to determine the best plan.