Estate planning is a critical part of planning for your family’s financial future when you have passes on. Many people believe that if they have not amassed a large fortune, or have a lot of property and possessions, that they do not have to initiate an estate plan. Nothing can be farther from the truth. There are many different aspects to estate planning, however not all will apply to every situation.
To start out with, you should have a will. This is a legal document that distributes your assets and possession to the people that you specify in the event of your death. It is not necessary to consult an attorney to draw up a will, however it will make things less complicated if you do. If you draw up a will by yourself, make sure that it is clear and expresses your wishes.
Another aspect to estate planning is a living will. This is a very important document that states your wishes in case of a medical catastrophe. It is crucial that you understand exactly what a living will is.
A living will dictates to doctors what type of care that you want in case you are not able to speak for yourself. For instance, if you do not want heroic measures to be taken, or if you do not want to be kept alive by machines, by putting this in a living will, these measures will not be taken and nature will take its course.
A living will also takes the decisions out of the hands of your loved ones at a time when their stress and grief is already too much to handle. It is important that you discuss what your decisions are with your loved ones so there are no shocks or surprises if the time comes. Another important aspect to estate planning is a trust. This is set up to distribute your assets and possessions to your heirs. You can set it up to distribute it in one lump sum, over a period of time, or when an heir reaches a certain age.
Estate planning should be prepared by an attorney who specializes in this area. Not only are they an objective party, they also are aware of all tax laws and can save your loved ones the stress of handling it themselves.
It is necessary to plan for your family’s future after you are gone. If you do not set up even a will, your family could be tied up in probate court for years. By taking advantage of estate planning, you are taking steps to make the grieving process a little easier for your loved ones.