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We spend a lot of time here discussing what an estate plan is, and who needs one.  Not everyone needs an estate plan though.  If you are curious about whether you need an estate plan or not, read on…

The young

Minors don’t typically have estate’s that they can control.  Their parents have the ability to direct their assets and health care until they become adults.  Once your child reaches adulthood, it is time to discuss putting a Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney in place for them.

The poor

In this case we’re talking about being poor in title.  If you don’t have anything in your name, then you don’t have an estate to worry about.  Besides land, that would have your name on it include things like bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and vehicles.  Any of these things together that add up to more than $150,000 mean that your estate will have to go through probate.

If the bulk of your estate is in life insurance or in one of the many retirement accounts (IRA, Roth IRA, 401k, 403b, etc) part of your estate plan is already created by naming the beneficiaries of those accounts.  However, specialized trusts, such as IRA Trusts can allow your IRA to “stretch”.  Reviewing your beneficiary designations with your CPA or estate planning attorney can help make sure that you have listed your beneficiary’s properly for what you intended.  This can be trickier than you may think; which is why at Estate Plan Pros we make it a point to review these designations with clients.

The friendless

If there is genuinely nothing you care about, and you could care less who receives your estate (some distant relative perhaps, or even the state if no relatives can be located) then don’t bother with an estate plan.  Trust me; you’ll sleep better with those few extra dollars tucked under your mattress.