Estate Planning: What You Need To Know
Estate planning is not solely about planning for your death. It also involves planning for your life in the event you're mentally incapacitated. Having an estate plan in place is very important because it reflects your wishes for your children, family, property and assets.
Is Estate Planning Often Overlooked?
Despite its extreme importance, estate planning is often overlooked and neglected. Many people work hard throughout their lives to provide for their families and build their estates, only to have the very things they've worked for and people to protect in disarray because they didn't invest time in a comprehensive plan that reflects their wishes.
Statistics show that more than 50% Americans do not have an estate plan in place at the time of their death. This is likely due to the average person's unfamiliarity with the estate planning process itself. Because they do not understand its importance and how it works, many Americans forego wills, trusts and other estate documents.
Why do you Need an Estate Plan?
Without the proper documentation in place at the time of your death or incapacity, you are leaving it up to a judge you don't know to decide how to distribute your assets throughout your family, who will care for your minor children, and who will care for you if you're ever unable to care for yourself.
Five Questions to Answer in your Plan
In your plan, you want to proactively answer questions that may arise in the event of your death or incapacity. Generally, these questions will involve your assets, minor children, inheritances, health care directives and sometimes more.
Here are 5 questions you should answer in your plan:
- Who do you want to care for your minor children?
- Who will be responsible for managing your estates?
- How will your assets and property be distributed?
- Who will care for you if you're unable to care for yourself?
- How will inheritances be distributed to beneficiaries?
A comprehensive estate plan is not a mere document. It's actually a combination of several documents that reflect your wishes regarding your minor children, your health care, and distribution of your assets, property and inheritances in the event of your death. It also covers your health care wishes if you're ever incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.
Here are the minimum five (5) documents you should include in your estate plan:
- Power of Attorney
- Living Will and Advantage Directives
- Guardianship Plans for Minor Children
Many of us get uncomfortable when we think about dying and our family's life without us. It's not a topic anyone wants to consider more than once. However, it is critical that you take time now, while you're healthy and in a good state of mind, to invest time in getting your estate, health and other affairs in order, and create an estate plan that reflects your wishes upon your death or incapacitation.
Do you want a Free Initial Consultation with an Estate Planning Lawyer?
Call 1-800-564-2707 today.