Everyone should have an estate plan. It is a vital part of your personal preparedness plan. If there is an emergency you need to have a valid contract that stats what to do about your estate. This includes far more than just money. Here are 4 things that your estate plan will discuss:
When most people think of an estate plan they think of money. It is true that this is a vital part of the plan. You will usually create trusts where you put your money. This way when you pass away, or are no longer to make decisions for yourself, the money will be protected.
When you create a trust you decide who gets your estate and property. You can put assets and belongings in to trusts. This will allow your loved ones to immediately have access to your property when you pass away. This is the best way to care for your family financially.
If you have minor children then you really need an estate plan. Your will should state who will care for your minor children after you pass away. If you don't have a will, then the state will decide who will care for your children. This is obviously less than ideal. A judge does not know your children, nor their individual needs. They don't understand family dynamics and may appoint your children to be cared for by someone that you don't trust. For this reason, you should make sure you have a plan for your children.
3. Legal Power of Attorney
Another important part of the estate plan is naming a legal power of attorney. If there is some sort of accident, or you are unable to make legal decisions for yourself, you need to have someone appointed to do that for you. For example, if you are out of the country and out of reach from your family and there is an emergency, who makes the legal decisions? When you make an estate plan, you will appoint this legal power of attorney.
4. Medical Power of Attorney
Much like a legal power of an attorney is your medical power of attorney. This is the person that will make your medical decisions for you if you cannot. For example, if you are in a coma, someone else will have to make your medical decisions for you. You should choose someone that you trust, and someone who you know will respect your wishes.
These are just four of the most important things you should have in your estate plan. If you want to know more or have other questions, contact an estate attorney for help.