They say that the only two certainties of life are death and taxes, and everyone is well aware of the April 15th date that approaches all too rapidly. With few exceptions, most people are diligent about making preparations for tax day. Yet, for some unknown reason, the majority of the same folks totally ignore the other inevitability that we will all face at some point in time.
A while back, a website that is focused on legal matters did some research to get a feel for the estate planning preparedness of Americans. The results were quite surprising, but not in a good way. Overall, 57% of the adults in our country are going through life without any estate planning documents at all.
When you look at this figure, you would naturally assume that people that are younger are going to bolster the statistic, and they do to some extent. A rather eye-popping 92% of individuals under the age of 35 are rolling the dice without a will or a trust or any type of postmortem asset transfer plan.
You can say that people in this age group are rarely going to pass away, and generally speaking, this is true. However, accidents happen every day, and younger individuals are stricken by catastrophic illnesses. It is rather arrogant to assume that you will never be “one of the statistics.”
When you are talking about people in their mid-20s to mid-30s, a significant percentage of them are parents of dependent children. Anyone that is responsible for the well-being of minors should certainly cover all their bases with regard to any eventuality that can come down the pike.
The statistics continue to tell a sad tale when you look at the older age groups. Only 44% of baby boomers, which are people between 45 and 64, have estate plans in place. A mind-boggling 22% of senior citizens over the age of 65 have done nothing to prepare for the inevitable.
If you pass away without any estate planning documents, the condition of intestacy would exist. Interested parties would inform the probate court, and the court would supervise the intestate estate process. A personal representative would be named to serve as the administrator; this role is similar to that of an executor.
There are numerous different circumstances that can come into play that would impact the situation, and the exact details vary on a case-by-case basis. Depending on your true wishes, your family dynamic, and the nature of your assets, the outcome can be disastrous.
When final debts have been paid and the court has made all its determinations, the remaining assets would be distributed in accordance with the intestate succession laws of the state of Nevada.
In fairness, it is possible that this would wind up being consistent with what you would have done, but it is very unlikely. And even if it is, there would be a lot of totally unnecessary expenditures and time consumption during the probate process.
One of the questions that was asked in the survey that we have been looking at is somewhat humorous, but it is instructive at the same time. Right around one third of people said they would rather have a root canal, give up sex for a month, or do their taxes than engage in the estate planning process.
We can say with absolute certainty that the real experience is nothing to dread, and we go the extra mile to make our clients feel comfortable on every level. The reality is, estate planning is one of the core responsibilities of adulthood, and there is no point in running away from it.
Personalized attention is the key to a well-constructed estate plan, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This is exactly what you get when you make a connection with our firm. If you are ready to do just that, you can call us at 775-823-9455 to set up a consultation.
You can alternately send us a message through our contact page and we will get back in touch with you promptly.