The term “Estate Planning” is used to describe the process of evaluating and planning for your needs and desires in the event of your (or if applicable, your spouse’s) death, disability, illness or incapacity. Estate planning seeks to take steps to protect those needs and desires by the drafting of documents such as Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, etc. The process may range from the very simple to the more complex, depending on your situation and on your needs.
So what are the benefits of Estate Planning? Here are just a few:
Establishing a Power of Attorney for Healthcare allows you to appoint a person or persons who can make medical decisions for you in the event of your incapacity. Having the right documentation is important in order to deal with the limitations imposed by HIPAA. Imagine the problems caused if you are unconscious due to illness or injury and need someone to be able to speak with your doctors on your behalf. The Power of Attorney for Healthcare addresses that situation.
Establishing a Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person or persons who can act on your behalf on personal and financial matters. Imagine the problems caused if you were laid up in the hospital due to illness and need someone to be able to act on your behalf on things like paying bills or filing insurance. The Durable Power of Attorney addresses that situation.
Establishing a Declaration of Living Will allows you to express your wishes in the event you are facing an end of life situation. You may not want to end up like Terri Schiavo but in order to avoid that happening to you, you need a valid Living Will in place and you need someone who can speak up for you. The Living Will addresses that situation.
Establishing a Revocable Living Trust allows you to pass along your assets, such as real estate, without requiring a probate. This saves time, money and aggravation in the event of your death. A Trust also facilitates being able to control how and when your assets get distributed. You may not want your beneficiaries to inherit all at once or until a certain age. The Trust addresses that situation.
Establishing a Last Will and Testament allows you to designate a Guardian for your minor children. You do not want some stranger deciding the fate of your children. Also, if you do not have a Trust, the Will allows you to direct how your assets get distributed and who will be in charge.
There are plenty of benefits of good estate planning. These are just a few. Perhaps the biggest is PEACE OF MIND. Peace of mind comes from knowing that if there’s a crisis—whether illness, injury, incapacity—you will be provided for and if you die, your loved ones will be taken care of as well.With the Corona virus/COVID 19 impacting us all, getting our estate documents in place is vitally important! Now more than ever!
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you get your estate documents in place.