A thoughtful estate plan is one of the best gifts you can give to your family, and it is never too early to start planning. One of the biggest reasons most people delay getting their estate plans in order is to avoid thinking about what will happen when they are gone. However, so long as you find an attorney who you can trust, making those decisions does not have to be a burden.
Estate planning refers to a number of different tools a person can use to protect, organize, and distribute money and property, provide guidance to others regarding your medical care if you are too sick to do so, designate others to handle your affairs when you are unable to, and provide care for children or other dependents.
Blevins Law will work with you to determine what tools will help you reach your financial, health, and personal goals, both before and after you pass away. Below is a brief introduction to a few of the most common tools estate planning attorneys use, but each individual's needs will vary.
By far the most widely known tool in estate planning is the Last Will & Testament. Your will is where you will designate who will handle your estate, and who will receive your property. More important to many families, however, your will is also where you will designate who will raise your children after you are gone.
There are many tools an experienced estate planning attorney can utilize to ensure that you can to provide for the family you leave behind. Though not all tools are right for every person, every person should have a Last Will & Testament, and update it regularly.
An Advance Medical Directive is a two-part document that designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf - your "agent" - and provides your agent with guidance regarding what medical care you want to receive. You have probably heard this document referred to as a durable power of attorney for health care, living will, and/or medical power of attorney.
Though an Advance Directive is important in your last days of life, it is also critical if you are ever in an accident and temporarily unable to make your own medical decisions. By completing an Advance Medical Directive, you take control of your health and minimize the stress on your loved ones caused by such difficult times. Estate planning is not only about your finances, after all.
Just as you need to plan for your medical care should you become incapacitated, you also should also designate a person to handle your finances. By designating a power of attorney to handle your financial affairs, you can ensure that your business and family are financially provided for, even if you cannot do so.