If you’re passing your home on to your children after you pass away, how do you want to do it? Should you leave it in equal parts to all of them? Are you going to give it to just one child? If so, do you want to leave other assets to your other children to make up for the value of the home? Or are you thinking of leaving unequal bequests to each of them?

These are all important questions to ask. Can you imagine just leaving your estate behind without answering any of them? How would your children know what you wanted or what they should do?

It feels clear that you must create an estate plan to give them direction, but this is still something that most people do not do. Even when looking at those who are 55 and older, roughly half have never even bothered to write a will. 

This can create chaos for a family after an unexpected passing. The problem, in some cases, is that people assume it won’t be unexpected. They think they still have 20 years and that feels like a long enough time to put off estate planning. They assume that even if they get sick, they’ll know that the end is arriving a bit sooner, and they can plan then. Either way, they still feel young and healthy and estate planning just doesn’t feel important. 

Unfortunately, the truth is that even those who are young and healthy can unexpectedly lose their lives. It is critical to get an estate plan in place early. Remember, even if you have 20 or 30 more years, having that plan in place the whole time doesn’t hurt anything. Passing away without a plan can certainly hurt your loved ones.