A proper estate plan doesn’t cost much relative to the grief you can save your loved ones after your passing. It is always a good idea to have a will and living trust because it can take several years in court if your estate needs to be administered through the Probate process, and there will be additional complications and expenses involved in every Probate!
If you have minor kids, do you want to make them wards of the court? Of course not! If you have any real estate, do you want to lose all power of sale of your property? Of course not!
If you have other property, do you want the court to hold a somewhat protracted and very public legal proceeding to divide your treasured personal keepsakes and memories? No!
Even if you have no kids, own no real estate, drive no cars and think that all your assets are in a bank or retirement fund with beneficiaries on all your accounts (do this, by all means), there are problems with that thinking-- There can often be forgotten or overlooked assets, or perhaps assets will come into existence before death, or death might hypothetically involve a recovery in a wrongful death action against another party. More likely, there could be tax refunds, unclaimed funds, an unexpected inheritance, or other found money. </p><p>Your loved ones could have such assets within sixty days, easily avoiding enormous costs and inconveniences of Probate by having a well-drafted estate plan with a pourover will to a living trust. You can do yourself and your family a favor and engage an expert estate or elder law attorney to do a proper estate plan for you.
(Of course, a careful ongoing execution of that plan afterward can be equally important.)