Female hand holding a model of a house
Bookmark and Share

Don't Put Off Your Estate Plan!


When "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin died in August without an estate plan, it immediately recalled the death of Prince two years earlier – pop royalty whose estate is still being wrangled over.


Even if you're not a music legend, an estate plan is instrumental to ensuring your final wishes are carried out after your death. Here are four reasons people give for not creating a plan – and why this conversation on estate planning needs to be had.

"I don't want to think about my death."

We all have to come to grips with our own mortality. Think of an estate plan as a gift to loved ones, helping alleviate their burden during an already difficult time.

An estate plan is more than a document denoting who gets what. Whether it's establishing a power of attorney or taking advantage of certain tax benefits, it can have a tangible impact on your life right now.

"My family will straighten it out."

They might not get the chance – in the event someone dies intestate (without a will), the courts decide how their possessions will be divided.

By establishing a will, you can spare your loved ones hurt feelings that can separate families for years.

"I'm in good health – I can put it off."

Good genes won't necessarily protect you from an unexpected misfortune or medical event. Creating a plan is a crucial part of preparing for the unexpected.

"Everything will just go to my family when I die."

That depends on where you live. Different states have different rules about how assets – and debts – are divided without a guiding plan, especially if you're divorced or own property in other states.


A thoughtful estate plan lets you support the people you care about after your death. Your Baird Financial Advisor can help you keep your plan in line with your evolving financial circumstances.


Photo of Mike Schroeder

Letter from Mike Schroeder

PWM President Mike Schroeder on the significance of Baird's 100th anniversary.

Baird 100 logo

The Past Is Prelude

It's not so much the number of years as it is the successes we've helped our clients achieve.

Sail boat on a calm lake

2019 Market Outlook

Baird's Investment Strategy Team makes the case for caution and patience in the New Year.

Young couple sitting on couch looking at papers

2019 Planning Perspective

Baird's Director of Advanced Planning considers how a divided Congress could affect your financial plans.

Female CPA working at desk

Be a Good Partner to Your CPA

Advice for keeping the tax return preparation process simple and cost-effective.

Two women working at a table

What Women Need to Know About Social Security

Tips for women looking to maximize their Social Security benefits.

Mother hugging two sons

Wealth Management in Real Life

A new Digest feature that helps readers tackle their most pressing wealth management concerns.

Close up of hand writing a donation check

A Smarter Way to Give

With donor-advised funds, you can respond to a natural disaster in a way that fits your broader financial plans.