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Why grandparents should do estate planning now

One of the biggest mistakes people make with estate planning isn't even the planning itself. It's the fact that they put it off. They procrastinate. They don't get the paperwork in place.

The reasons vary. Some feel intimidated by the process. Others don't like to talk about their own passing. Others feel like they have a lot of time left and can worry about it later.

If you're already a grandparent, though, it's generally wise to think about estate planning as soon as you can. Don't put it off any longer. You may not need that plan for 30 more years, but you still want to have it ready to go. Below are a few reasons why:

1. Your family will know you cared.

They'll see that you took time and decided to plan ahead. They'll know you wanted to make their lives easier. You can custom-build your plan to be thoughtful and caring, one last gift you can give to your kids and your grandchildren.

2. The assets are divided as you intended.

Don't assume your kids want the same things you want or that they'll do a good job splitting up assets if you pass away without a will. Instead, it often leads to fights and disagreements. It's stressful for them. Assets you wanted to have stay in the family can get sold, or assets don't go to the kids you intended. Maybe money that was supposed to pay for the grandchildren's college gets spent on a new car. The possibilities are endless. Estate planning puts you back in control.

3. You can protect the money in case there is a divorce.

Are you worried that a son or daughter will get divorced and half of the money you worked so hard for will go to someone who is no longer even in the family? It's a common concern, but your estate plan can make it impossible. For instance, instead of giving money directly to a child, you can create a trust that pays out in monthly installments to that child. The money left in the trust can't get divided because it's not a marital asset.

4. You get peace of mind.

Maybe you're worried about your estate and your heirs, but you still haven't done anything. You know that accidents and disease don't discriminate. It's an unfortunate reality that means you may not have as long as you hope. Getting that plan in place means that you're relaxed and content, knowing that even the unexpected can't derail your plans for your family. You can reduce your stress and enjoy life.

Are you living without an estate plan? As you can see, it's important to consider your legal options and work quickly to secure your family's future.

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