Planning Your Estate: What You Should Know
There are many factors to consider as you go about your daily life and manage your finances and assets. One of those many factors that is important to keep in mind and keep up with is your estate planning. As much as any person would like to imagine, there is no way to attain immortality and eventually there will come a time when you are no longer a living being on the planet. Because of this, you need to be sure that you have a plan for all you have achieved and accumulated throughout your life for when you are gone. Get to know some of the most important steps that you should take when you are doing your estate planning so that you can be sure that you are doing right by your achievements in life and the people who matter most in your life.
Hire an Attorney to Help You
Every state in the nation has different laws regarding estates and last will and testaments, and you want to be sure that all of the documents you prepare and the wishes you have are carried out perfectly. Because of this, you will want to hire an estate planning attorney to help you with the process.
You may think that only people with significant assets (i.e. wealthy people) need attorneys to help them with this process, but that is not the case. Everybody can benefit from assistance drafting a last will and testament, durable power of attorney, and other estate planning documents so that they are legally binding and correctly worded.
Think Carefully About Who You Want In Charge Of Your Decision Making
Part of estate planning is also planning for the end of your life or a time in which you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. For example, if you are in a long-term coma, suffer from dementia, or are in an accident and unconscious, you will need someone to manage your decisions both in your healthcare and in your estate. This is where durable and medical power of attorney paperwork is so important as well as advanced directives (specific requests regarding your healthcare in case of extreme circumstances).
Be sure that you think very carefully about who you choose to be in charge of your decisions, both medically and estate-wise. The person closest to you (like a spouse) may not always be the best person to be in charge of both aspects of your life, particularly if they are not good in stressful situations or may be extremely emotional decision-makers. Be sure that you choose people who can remain rational even in the face of extreme stress and who will follow all of your wishes.
Remember to Keep Your Last Will and Testament Updated
Doing your estate planning early is a great idea in case of an unexpected tragedy and to give you peace of mind. But keep in mind that as time goes on, you will want to make sure that your last will and testament is continuously updated. This is especially important if your assets or wealth grow significantly.
It is also important, if you have more children or grandchildren or even get divorced and remarried, that you update what assets will go to which person in case of your passing. You do not want to leave anyone important to you out of the will and you also do not want to include people who are no longer a part of your life (if you do not want to do so). Therefore, work with your attorney to periodically update your last will and testament.
Now that you know some of the steps that you should take when doing your estate planning, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can and should to protect your assets and have all of your wishes carried out when you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself. Contact a firm like Valentine & Valentine PC to learn more.