If you’re putting together a list of New Year’s resolutions for this year, make sure that they include estate planning on your list of items to accomplish. Having a plan in place for after you pass away will give you the peace of mind that your loved ones won’t have to worry about matters concerning your estate after you die. Here are a few estate planning resolutions to add to your list:
Create a Will or Trust
Sit down with your trusted estate planning attorney and discuss how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. Without a will or trust in place, the fate of your assets will be determined by the courts, putting your heirs in a difficult position. Both wills and trust have their benefits, so make sure you as your lawyer which is right for you.
Choose a Power of Attorney
Having an official power of attorney in place will ensure that someone you trust is able to make important decisions for you in the event that you can not do so for yourself. A power of attorney has the ability to take care of all of your finances including your bank accounts, tax filings, and real-estate property.
Choose a Health Care Proxy
Just like a power of attorney, a health care proxy is tasked with making decisions on your behalf. In this case, they will need to decide on matters concerning your medical care in the event that you are incapacitated. In addition to having a health care proxy, it’s important that you tell your attorney if you know how you want certain medical situations to be handled, such as whether or not you should be kept on life support for an extended period of time. That way, you can save your health care proxy for having to make extremely difficult decisions on their own.
Set Up a Long-Term Care Plan
Long-term care insurance can save your loved ones from a lot of stress both emotionally and financially in the event that you need to be in a nursing home for an extended period of time. Having this safeguard in place will ensure that you don’t lose all of your assets in the event of a serious injury or illness.
In reality, all adults can benefit from estate planning, however, it’s typically not something we think about until we’re at or close to retirement age. Even if you’ve decided that you don’t currently need to do any planning for your own estate, that doesn’t mean that estate planning shouldn’t be on your radar in 2019. Too often, we neglect to talk to our parents about what their plans are for their own estate. Although it’s a difficult conversation to have, it’s important that you understand what their wishes are for their healthcare in their golden years and their estate after they pass. Losing a loved one is never easy, however, when someone has a plan in place for their final wishes, it can save their heirs from a great deal of undue stress.