Thinking about your estate plan is something that many people avoid because they don't think that it is necessary right away. However, all adults should take steps to get their estate plan together.
Your estate plan is more than just telling your loved ones what they will receive when you pass away. In fact, your estate plan should have components that might help you during your final days. Consider these four components of an estate plan when you are ready to start working on your plan.
Your will is the backbone of your estate plan. You need to think carefully about what you are going to include in these. Many people focus only on the higher value assets they have. While these are important inclusions in the will, you have to think beyond them. Think about items that your loved ones might fight over when you die. A favorite stained glass butterfly is one example of what might be included in the will. By spelling out who gets the favorite items, you might be able to stop disagreements in the days after you pass away.
Trusts are a way that you can protect assets and distribute them according to your wishes. There are various types of trusts that you can explore when you want to include them in your estate plan. Some trusts, such as the special needs trust, enable you to care for your loved ones after your death without impacting their qualification for certain assistance programs. Other trusts can help to protect assets from creditors before and after your death. One good thing about placing assets in trusts is that you can place requirements on how and when the assets are distributed.
Powers of attorney
The powers of attorney designations can impact the health care and financial decisions that occur when you can't make decisions for yourself. You should make sure that each of these designations is given to a person who will follow your wishes when it comes time to make decisions for you. Make sure that you choose someone who will be able to think clearly when dealing with your possible impending death.
Your living will works in conjunction with the powers of attorney for health care designation. The living will spells out what you are willing to do and don't want to do regarding your health care. This could include what medical interventions you approve, such as being placed on life support. It is also possible for you to specify what kind of interventions you do not wish to have done to you.