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Estate Planning Essentials: Tips For Preparation

After working hard for a lifetime, people want to protect their assets for themselves and future generations. To keep up with the evolving world, estate laws are constantly changing, and staying on top of these changes is crucial to protect hard-earned assets. Discover estate planning essentials to be well-prepared for the days ahead. 

Preparing a Will

Some people attempt to prepare a will independently, not understanding the current estate laws or how to prepare the document to ensure their wishes are fulfilled. Working with an experienced lawyer is crucial to determining your estate planning needs properly. The first step is preparing a will that accurately reflects where your assets go in the event of your death and how and when assets will be distributed during your life and after death.

Consider a Power of Attorney

A crucial aspect of estate planning is considering who would have a power of attorney if you cannot act or make decisions independently. As people get older, health conditions and other factors may leave them unable to act on their behalf. A lawyer helps clients create a power of attorney and choose a person to act as their attorney-in-fact, determining what they have the authority to decide and what they cannot control.

Health Care Directives Are Important

Another estate planning aspect to discuss with a legal team is how health care will be handled if a person cannot make decisions on their own. A lawyer can create documentation providing authority to a specific person or people who can make decisions about your health care, such as maintaining life support. Considering these choices now when you can make decisions ensures the right things happen if you become incapacitated.  

Think About a Trust

Estate planning also means verifying your wishes will be fulfilled appropriately, and a trust names a trustee to hold the assets for the beneficiaries. The trust can be established for minor beneficiaries with rules to establish when and how specific assets will be transferred. For example, a child might get certain assets at 21 or on an established schedule throughout their lifetime rather than in one lump sum.

Deciding Beneficiaries

One of the simplest estate planning strategies is choosing beneficiaries for various accounts and assets. For example, bank accounts and retirement accounts can be left to one or more named beneficiaries to ensure they get the funds. A lawyer works with clients to help them establish beneficiaries for all their accounts and insurance policies.

Think About the Future

People often put off estate planning until tomorrow, not realizing health issues and unexpected events may arise and cause financial distress. Estate planning ensures everything people worked hard for throughout their lives is protected in the event they become ill or die. Without estate planning, families can lose valuable assets, including homes and bank accounts, instead of enjoying the benefits of years of hard work and saving.

Everyone benefits from scheduling an estate planning consultation with an experienced lawyer, from business owners to singles to those with large families. Anyone with assets wants to protect them in the future in case of illness or death to ensure proper distribution and minimal losses. Schedule an appointment with a lawyer today to learn more about the importance of estate planning and how it can protect you and your loved ones in the future.

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