Most Missouri residents could agree that estate planning is no walk in the park. Even the mere discussion of one’s plans can create stress for some, depending on the situation. While it is natural for family members to express concern over the future of a loved one, what if no estate plan existed? In these cases, there could be many obstacles.
When pop celebrity Prince died in 2016, Business Insider sent its readers a warning: learn from the mistakes of others. The star had not left behind a will, a decision that some believe could have created hardships for surviving family. Contrary to what the average American might assume, one does not need to be wealthy to need an estate plan. In fact, Business Insider states that when an individual does not make such plans, the state of residence may decide what happens to assets. Those who die intestate do not have the advantage of choosing beneficiaries. In addition, many are unaware of the true meaning behind estate planning, ultimately neglecting other areas, such as a living will.
CNN Money also commented on wealth and estate planning, stating first and foremost that a will is one’s voice after death. For instance, inheritance laws may vary depending on the state, but courts generally prioritize spouses, legal domestic partners and biological relatives. Not only can estate planning prevent one’s assets from going into the wrong hands; it can also benefit those with children. CNN continues by pointing out that parents may choose guardians and thus have the peace of mind that children will receive proper care. Missouri residents should also take note of state laws surrounding taxes, as they may affect financial preparations. The steps may differ from plan to plan, but the end goal of protecting assets — and, more importantly, loved ones — is clear.