Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan

Adults arguing with their lawyer

Estate planning is a vital tool that gives you the power to control where your assets go after you pass away, ensuring that your wishes are adhered to and your loved ones are protected even when you’re no longer with them. Without an estate plan in place, the state will effectively make those decisions for you.

Estate planning is something some people would prefer not to think about. Unfortunately, the consequences of never doing so can be profound. At Peakstone Law Group, LLC, our estate planning attorneys help Colorado Springs families plan for the future so that their final wishes are heard and upheld.

What Is Estate Planning and Why Is It Important?

An estate plan is a legal blueprint that outlines how you want your property and estate to be divided after you pass away. Your estate plan can be as straightforward or as complex as you wish, with detailed and specific plans for your money, personal property, real estate, and other assets.

A will is an excellent first step, but it is only one aspect of a comprehensive estate planning strategy. Estate planning can include:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Guardianships
  • Powers of attorney
  • Advance directives
  • Other estate planning documents

A proper estate plan should include plans for dividing your assets and guardianship over any minor children. Your plan should also include instructions for who is responsible for making legal and medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.

The importance of estate planning is that it protects everything you worked so hard to accomplish in life. You deserve a say in how it gets distributed once you’re gone.

Potential Consequences of No Will or Estate Plan

Without a plan of your own in place, your estate will be distributed according to state law. In Colorado, when an individual passes away without a will or estate plan, their estate gets divided to the next of kin based on the state’s intestate succession laws.

Did you want a larger share of your estate for certain family members? That’s not possible without a will. Did you want to give money to a charity? Again, it is not possible without a will.

There are consequences of having no will or estate plan in place. Here are some of the potential consequences of foregoing an estate plan:

  • Increased stress for your family and loved ones
  • Family disputes and legal battles over your assets
  • Loss of control of medical decisions if you are incapacitated
  • Guardianship issues for minor children
  • Inefficient distribution of your assets
  • Missed opportunities for charitable giving
  • Estate taxes and no estate plan can lead to an increased tax burden for surviving family members

Avoiding Probate with Estate Planning

Probate – the process of administering a deceased person’s estate – can be time-consuming, complicated, and stressful. However, there are specific tactics for avoiding probate with estate planning. Our experienced attorneys can help you create a trust and place assets in it to help family members avoid the headache of the probate process.

The Importance of Consulting an Estate Planning Attorney

Building a solid estate plan starts with securing knowledgeable legal representation. At Peakstone Law Group, LLC, we will thoughtfully review your situation and create a comprehensive estate plan that addresses your unique needs and goals. Contact our Colorado Springs office today and arrange a confidential free consultation.