The primary reasons why having an estate plan is important

You don’t have to be wealthy to benefit from having an estate plan. As Vanguard estate planning experts Alisa Shin and Sarah Price explain, estate plans are used to make sure your wishes are carried out and your assets go to the people you want. 

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Notes
This webcast is for educational purposes only. We recommend that you consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual situation.


TRANSCRIPT 

Gary Gamma: Now, we’re going to get started today going right to some of the questions that we’ve already received. So, it’s kind of a broad question. “What are the primary reasons why an estate plan is important?” Alisa, you’re closest; how about we start with you?

Alisa Shin: Well, I think some of the same reasons that you just mentioned in your introduction to comments. One of the biggest reasons is to make sure that your assets go to the people that you would like them to go. If you die without a will, that intestate law through your state law will determine who should receive your assets. So, that’s one. Another reason is for you to determine who should make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. So, one role is as your agent of your power of attorney and who’s going to make those financial decisions for you if you’re incapacitated and who’s going to make decisions for you regarding your healthcare, medical decisions, and end of life decisions. Those are all really important things and really why everybody needs some kind of estate plan in place.

Gary Gamma: Do you want to add to that?

Sarah Price: No, I would just emphasize what Alisa said, which is really— It’s important to carry out your goals with your planning, and if you don’t have documents in place to do that and set forth what your real wishes and desires are, you’re reliant on state statute like Alisa mentioned, and that most likely is not what you want to happen with your assets, nor may be the people you want making decisions on your behalf.

Important information This webcast is for educational purposes only. We recommend that you consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual situation. © 2016 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved.