Nobody really likes to think about what will happen after they’ve died, which is why so many people put off estate planning for as long as they can. Sadly, many of these people wait too long and end up passing away before they can write their wills. Since it’s impossible to plan for every eventuality, it is important to speak to your family and your attorney about your estate plan long before you think you’ll need to.
Everyone should take the time to plan their estate. Asset management is essential, even for people who don’t think they have enough to make the process worthwhile. With that being said, here are some of the documents you will need for the estate planning process.
Last Will and Testament
When most people think about estate planning, the first thing that usually comes to mind is their last will and testament. This document is where you can specify what is going to be done to your wealth and your belongings when you pass away, in addition to your funeral provisions. If you are married, you and your spouse should each have a separate will. Also, you can make changes to your will in the future, so don’t worry if you think it’s too early to write this crucial document too early.
A Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a document that specifies how your assets are to be managed while are alive and mentally capable, how they should be managed if you become disabled, and how they will be disbursed after you’ve passed away. It’s an all-inclusive legal document that is often overlooked despite its importance to asset management. Like your will, it can be changed.
A Living Will
A living will specifies what is to happen to you if you are in a prolonged vegetative state or an irreversible coma. Many people don’t like the idea of being put on life support indefinitely if there is no hope for recovery, and their living will is where they make clear these medical preferences.
Financial Power of Attorney
The financial power of attorney specifies who will be managing your finances if you are unable to do so yourself. This is a simple form that should be filled out and kept with the rest of your important documents. When you’re filling out a financial power of attorney (or writing your will, for that matter), you should take inventory of all of your belongings as assets. It is essential that you cover all of your bases while you still can.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney form is much like a living will in that it will determine what will happen to you if you are unable to make decisions regarding your own medical care. Whoever has medical power of attorney will be able to make these decisions for you, so choose wisely and make sure that the person you choose can make the best decisions possible on your behalf.
Appointment of Guardians for Your Children
As upsetting as it may sound, you have to accept the fact that you could pass on before your children are fully grown. This is why any estate plan should include an appointment of guardians for your children. This could be your spouse if you are married, but you should have someone else in mind as well.
When it comes to estate planning, the most important factor is to plan for anything. Nobody knows what will happen in the future, so it’s best to cover all of your bases to make sure that your family is safe and well cared for.