The Fundamentals of Estate Planning

Putting the right estate planning tools in place for you and your loved ones starts with the fundamentals. A basic estate plan includes a Will, Power of Attorney for Healthcare, and Power of Attorney for Finance. These documents allow you to make your wishes known when you die and to choose the person who will handle your affairs in times of necessity. Basic planning is beneficial for several reasons:

Expense. Establishing a good estate plan now can save costs later for you or your family. For example, if you have a properly executed Power of Attorney, your family can avoid the difficult and costly process of filing for a guardianship or conservatorship in court.

Time to Think. One of the most important steps in developing an estate plan is taking the necessary time to consider your options. By allowing ample time to think about the significant decisions that Estate Planning requires, you are giving yourself peace of mind in knowing you have a plan that you and your family can rely on. Do yourself a favor and allow yourself time — time to think and choose what is best for you.

More Options. Having a 30,000-foot view of your current estate assets, family dynamics, insurance needs and potential tax implications allows an Estate Planning attorney to develop the best plan for you. The more advance planning you undertake, the more likely you are to be able to execute a plan that encompasses all your needs.

Family. Estate planning is not only for the person signing on the dotted line. More often than not, the unintended beneficiary of a comprehensive estate plan is the family and loved ones who are caring for the person when they are sick and distribute their assets after they are gone. Having a proper plan ensures you have a voice in all stages of the process that your family can lean on for guidance.

In this holiday season, wrapping up what has been an unprecedented year, consider giving the gift of basic planning – for yourself and your loved ones.

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