While the terms “will” and “estate plan” are often used interchangeably in North Dakota, they actually mean two different things. If you don’t have any children and only a few assets to your name, you might only need a will. But if you have children, a large number of assets or both, you might need an all-encompassing estate plan.
Do you need an estate plan?
If you’re young and don’t have any children, you might be able to get away with just writing a will. However, you should still consider estate planning. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, an estate plan gives you the chance to make important decisions about end-of-life care.
When you have a child, you should start thinking about an estate plan. An estate plan could help you protect your child if you die while they’re still a minor. You could nominate a guardian, choose someone to handle their inheritance until they turn 18 and make other important decisions.
You should also consider estate planning if you’ve accumulated a lot of assets. You might distribute your properties to your family members in your will, but if you haven’t made an estate plan, you might not be taking taxes and other issues into consideration. An estate plan could help you prepare for virtually every possibility, ensuring that your family is always protected.
Should you get help when writing an estate plan?
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you need help with your estate planning. You might not need assistance if you only have a few assets in your name. But if you have a large estate, an attorney could help you take stock of all your assets and point out assets that you might have forgotten about. They could also help you write clear, organized documents that your family can easily find after your death.