Do you think that estate planning is important – for other people?
You may be in for a surprise.
Estate planning isn’t just for the rich or elderly. It’s for anyone with assets, whether they’re retirement plans, bank accounts, life insurance policies, property or other anything else to pass on to heirs. Estate planning can also help anyone, regardless of what assets they do or do not have, ensure that their wishes will be followed during a medical emergency.
Basic Estate Planning Documents
The most basic estate planning document is the will, or the last will and testament. The will is a crucial document that establishes how assets should be distributed. The will can also name a guardian for minor children.
In addition to the will, some people may need a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person or entity manages property belonging to another person. This can be very helpful if, for example, you have minor children who will inherit your property. In fact, because most people don’t suddenly learn how to manage money responsibly on their 18th birthday, trusts are commonly used to manage property until an heir turns 35.
Other documents may be needed beyond wills and trusts. Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to sit down with an estate planning attorney to go over your situation.
Preparing for Medical Emergencies
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you fell into a coma or were otherwise incapacitated? Who would make medical decisions on your behalf – and would they be the decisions you’d make?
With proper estate planning, you won’t have to wonder. You’ll know.
In addition to directing the distribution of assets, estate planning can be used to plan for medical emergencies. An advance directive can establish your wishes during a medical emergency and name a medical power of attorney who will be authorized to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Getting Everything 100 Percent Right
Some people turn to DIY programs to create their estate plan. While this may seem like the simplest and cheapest way forward, it’s not always the best tactic.
Even basic estate planning can be complicated. For example, you need to make sure your beneficiary designations are done right – otherwise, your estate may benefit someone you never intended it to, like your spouse’s future spouse, instead of your children.
Your estate plan is important enough that you want to get everything right, not just most things right. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you with that.
A solid estate plan can help your heirs avoid headaches, and it may even help with taxes. It can prepare you for unexpected situations, such as if your first choice for medical power of attorney is unavailable. Most importantly, it can help you rest easy, knowing that everything is taken care of.
Need an estate plan? Skinner Law can help with all your estate planning needs. Contact Skinner Law to learn how we can help. Also, watch the video below for basic estate planning key points to remember..