I'm talking about death, the one thing we are all going to do in the future guaranteed. This is my plea to get you to get your affairs in order. Taking care of your estate to give yourself and those involved peace of mind is the best gift you can give. 💼📝
All last week I was seeing heartbreaking stories of the 32-year-old mom of three, Jackie Oh (whose real name was Jacklyn Smith), passing away unexpectedly. At the time of her death, Jackie Oh had a cosmetic business, a youtube channel, and was a social media influencer.
All I could think was I know that most people her age or younger aren't prepared for this situation. No, I'm not talking about insurance. I'm talking about sitting down to think about what happens when a 6-year-old, 2-year-old, and an 11-month-old inherit everything their mom owns. In case you are wondering, the children can't legally manage their inheritance themselves so someone will have to be appointed by the court to act on their behalf.
In this case, their dad doesn't automatically become the person to manage their inheritance either, he will have to petition the court since the couple was unmarried.
Dying young is something that can always happen, consider some of our favs like Aaliyah, Heath Ledger, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, and Selena. All died before their 35 birthday. Having a plan in place aka using your will, and or trust can keep this situation organized and ensure that any assets you have are protected and transferred according to your wishes.
Having a plan also means you can attempt to minimize the expenses your family has to pay, minimizes taxes, avoiding probate and the associated costs and delays because it can take over 18 months for a small estate to go through probate in my city (small can even mean less than $185K, I've heard of $5000 estates taking that long). And yes bestie, you do have an estate even if it only consists of the cell phone or computer you are using to read this.
So parents, start right now and figure out whom you would like to appoint as guardians for your minor children and have a backup (or two or three). Figure out the responsible parties in your circle and start talking to them about their knowledge of and comfort with the idea of stepping up to the plate to ensure your estate planning wishes are heard.
Ideas For Your Estate Plan
Personally, I know my kid is a spender, I see it already so, of course, my plan includes events and ages they get money and specific items they are allowed to request money for. I refuse for all my money to go to Roblox or Shopkins unless it's going into buying the businesses behind these games and toys. I also have to have a plan for what happens to my two businesses and any real estate I own since that is a lot to drop on a kid or an adult unexpectedly. The best thing I can do is to have these conversations.
The same thing applies even if you don't have children, or if you only have pets, or if your business is your baby especially if you have employees. What happens to your employees if you aren't there to make decisions? You need a plan!
Alright bestie, that's it for this week. I hope you sit yourself down or sit with someone else, preferably an estate planning attorney and start working on your plan.
Jala Eaton known as Your Wealth Bestfriend® is a seasoned personal finance writer as well as an Estate Planning Attorney and award-winning Certified Trust & Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA). When she is not running her businesses, teaching, or writing she enjoys dance parties in the kitchen with her child. Her work has appeared on, Business Insider, Experian, Real Simple, The Skimm, Yahoo News, and others.