Many people procrastinate creating an estate plan. Whether they think they “aren’t in a place in their life where it would matter” or they “have time”, people often avoid estate planning as long as possible. Estate planning reminds us of our mortality and although that may sound morbid, the fact of the matter is that it is inevitable. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the process of estate planning includes more than simply creating a will. Your estate plan can include things like what your wishes on medical treatment are in case you are incapacitated. An estate plan is put in place to protect and properly distribute your assets – during and after your life.
Why Start Planning Early?
The old saying “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” rings true in this case. The bottom line is: we don’t know when we are going to die. Ideally, we would all like to die peacefully in our sleep, after a long life full of exciting experiences and love. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Since we can’t do any estate planning after we pass, estate planning must be completed while we are still alive and have a capable mental capacity. Financially, an estate plan can save you money on your estate taxes and can detail how to distribute those assets following your passing. These assets can include your business, home, life insurance, stocks, or property. Additionally, included in your estate plan are documents like a will, trusts, and who will have power of attorney.
When most people think of an estate plan, this is what comes to mind. Trusts can be set up for children and other beneficiaries. Clear, outlined plans of what happens to your financial assets following your passing can make it easier for those who are grieving. If you are incapacitated, trusted power of attorney can make financial decisions for you. However, this person must be appointed before you are incapacitated.
Power of Attorney Planning
Appointing a power of attorney is an essential step in estate planning and often one of the hardest decisions. This document grants a very trusted individual in your life power over your legal and financial decisions. This document can be as specific or general as you choose. In the case you are unable to make these decisions for yourself, the chosen power of attorney the power to.
While this isn’t always associated with the idea of estate planning, healthcare planning is important in estate planning. This can include what you would and would not allow in the case of life-saving medical procedures. This can give your family and medical professionals guidance in case you are unable to communicate these wishes. Commonly known as a “living will”, an advance directive can lift the responsibilities of difficult decisions from your loved ones.
Speak to an Expert Today!
It is important to remember that proper estate planning can be beneficial to you while you are still alive and it can make the world of a difference after your passing. At Arvanitakis Law Group, we are here to help answer difficult questions and make sure you don’t forget any details. Speaking with an expert on the subject can ease a lot of the stress and taboo around estate planning.