As I re-read the article I used for my previous post I was not surprised to find the number one mistake is not having a plan. That got me thinking, “Why do most people not plan and how can I encourage them to not make this mistake? So this week I have compiled a list of reasons of why I think estate planning is important.

1. The Bible teaches that we need to be good managers of the things the Lord has given us. A good manager makes a plan for the future.

2. Estate planning provides us the opportunity to carry our legacy forward for future generations.

3. You can share your values with your children and grandchildren.

4. Through charitable giving you have the ability to impact hundreds or thousands of lives.

5. You can provide guidance for your children and grandchildren so their lives will be enhanced, improved, and enriched as they benefit from your generosity.

6. It allows you to remain in control of your assets and life for as long as possible.

7. You can incorporate your family philosophy or mission statement with your plan so future generations of your family will know what was important to you.

8. You make the hard decisions now so that your spouse, children, and other loved ones will not have to do it in the future.

9. You can shelter your hard earned assets from creditors and predators.

10. You have the ability to provide protection for your beneficiaries so they can enjoy the gifts you leave them without fear of unnecessary taxes or concern that the gifts may be taken from them.

11. It allows you to make sure your surviving spouse will not lose the gift you leave them to a future spouse, creditors, or those trying to take advantage of them.

12. You can save on wealth transfer taxes (estate tax, generation skipping tax, gift tax).

13. If you want you can make a plan to give all of what you own away when you want to.

14. You can make sure that no one benefits from your estate unless you want them to.

15. You have the opportunity to treat your beneficiaries as equal or unequal as you want.

16. You can plan for any future incapacity issues.

17. If you want you can choose to disinherit the IRS.

18. You can choose to leave gifts to whomever you want, the way you want, and when you want.

19. It allows you to make sure that your business will continue and be inherited by those whom you choose.

20. It gives you peace of mind.

21. It gives your spouse peace of mind.

22. It gives your children peace of mind.

23. There are so many more things to discuss other than death and dying.

24. You can create your plan so that you own nothing and control everything.

25. You can keep the court system out of your business.