Here’s Why You Need an Estate Plan

By Joshua Berkley

Although we’d all like things to go according to plan, this doesn’t always happen. Unfortunately, life is often full of unpleasant surprises. With an estate plan, however, it is possible to put yourself in a position to address these types of situations as they arise. By planning ahead for things like incapacity, divorce, and even death, you can ensure that you and your family members remain prepared for whatever life throws your way. In this article, we discuss why you need an estate plan in Kentucky. 

To Pass on Your Assets

If you fail to create an estate plan, your assets will be subject to the probate process and will pass under intestate law, which means that you will have no control over how they are distributed. However, when you create an estate plan, you can distribute your assets in the manner of your choosing. In addition, if you want to exclude your assets from a child or ex-spouse, you can accomplish this with an estate plan. Typically, the distribution of assets is accomplished through a will, a trust, or a combination of the two.  

To Plan for End-of-Life Care

Another reason it is important to create an estate plan is to make plans for end-of-life care with a healthcare power of attorney (in Kentucky, referred to as a healthcare surrogate designation) or healthcare proxy and a Living Will. These documents allow you to make decisions regarding end-of-life treatment should you become unable to make such decisions on your own in the future. With an estate plan, you can either designate a loved one to make end-of-life decisions on your behalf or make such decisions yourself.

To Make Financial Arrangements

An estate plan also allows you to address financial issues. Through a valid estate plan, you can designate a party to take control of your financial accounts and manage them for you should you ever become unable to do so yourself. One way to do this is through one or more powers of attorney, which allow you to designate one or more persons to make financial decisions for you should you ever become incapacitated.

To Ensure Your Children are Protected 

If you have children under the age of 18, you can use an estate plan to ensure that their futures are protected. With an estate plan, you can name a guardian to care for your children should anything ever happen to you. You can also appoint a conservator to manage finances for the children until they reach adulthood.  However, if you don’t have an estate plan in place, a Kentucky court will determine who takes custody of your children should you and your significant other pass away. 

Contact a Shelby County Estate Planning Attorney 

If you are ready to begin planning for the future, you should enlist the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. At Berkley Oliver PLLC, our knowledgeable estate planning lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure that you and your loved ones will remain protected for years to come. Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented estate planning attorneys.

About the Author
Josh Berkley is an attorney and owner at Berkley Oliver PLLC who helps individuals implement plans to protect their assets and their loved ones. Josh focuses his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law.  From assisting young parents in making a plan to provide for their children, to helping senior clients qualify for Medicaid, Josh works with clients to create estate plans and life plans tailored to each person’s specific goals. He also helps clients with a wide variety of important legal documents such Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate Designations, and Living Wills. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Josh here.