It is a misunderstanding that only wealthy people need an estate plan. Forbes explains that by creating an estate plan, you can make things easier on your family after your death. If you address assets and liabilities in your plan, they will not have to make decisions about dividing your belongings or deal with debt or other issues that may come up.
Specific situations indicate you should create a plan even if you are not wealthy. You do not need to have a lot of money at stake to plan ahead.
You have children
If you have minor children, then you need an estate plan so that you can name a guardian for them. If you fail to name a guardian and their other parent is unable to take custody, they may end up in the custody of the state. There may also be disagreements within your family about who will care for them. Uncertainty and conflict can be very upsetting to the kids in an already scary time, but you can protect them by creating an estate plan.
You wish to give to charity
If you want some of your assets to go to charity, an estate plan can outline these wishes. Without a plan, whoever inherits your estate will be the one to make such decisions. In an estate plan, you can specify which charity you wish to support and how much money you wish to leave it. You may also leave assets to a charity if you desire.
You want control
If you want to have control over what happens with your assets after your death, then an estate plan is a good idea because it allows you to leave specific directions. Without an estate plan, the state will distribute your assets according to intestate laws. Typically, this means that your spouse will receive them. Your children may receive some, but anyone else will have to rely on whoever inherits to give them anything.