What Goals Should A Proper Estate Plan Accomplish?
A proper estate plan should accomplish the goals of the person who is making the plan. The law is designed so that even if someone does not have a will, their assets will go to their children. If the person does not have children, then the law dictates that the assets will pass to the parents first, and then to siblings. If there are no parents or siblings, then the assets will pass to the grandparents and then the next closest relative that is alive. Depending on the circumstances, it’s possible that a person’s assets could end up going to the government.
If a person does not want their assets distributed in this way, then they need to create a will and an estate plan that explains their wishes. When my father was diagnosed with cancer and was close to the end of his life, he had a very good friend (who was also an attorney) draft a will for him. Having that will and knowing what he wanted was such a relief to me. I just can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have that document.
Also included in an estate plan are health care directives. A health care directive is an important document for incapacity purposes. For example, someone I know was involved in a terrible accident, and while she was in the hospital, some family members began making decisions regarding her children and her property—regardless of the fact that she did not approve of these decisions. After this person was released from the hospital, she had to undo everything the family members changed. Having a health care directive and clearly stating one’s wishes for their health and life is essential for avoiding these types of situations.
The other document that’s included is the power of attorney, which identifies who will be in charge of the person’s financial needs. It is a powerful document, and it is important to have one in place.
When Is The Best Time To Start Planning For Your Estate? Is It Ever Too Late?
The only time when it’s too late to start planning for one’s estate is after death. Just as a person would plan for a big life event, such as a graduation or birthday party, people need to plan for death. No one knows when it’s going to happen, but it’s important to plan for it so that a person has peace of mind in knowing that their family and their assets will be protected
As soon as someone turns 18 years old, then can sign a will. I would definitely recommend that anyone who has children create an estate plan. It is important for a person to determine what would happen to their children if they were no longer around. It is also important to review that Estate Plan at various milestones; when your
What Is A Will? Does A Will Need To Be A Part OF Every Estate Plan?
A will signifies to the court and to everyone else involved the wishes of the decedent with regard to their assets. The person who executes the will is called the testator. If a person’s debts outweigh their assets, then they probably don’t need a will. A trust can take the place of a will, and in some ways, a trust can be a lot easier to handle than a will. However, this should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
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