Creating an estate plan can be a challenge if you are not sure what to put in it. Lack of information about estate plans may be why 60% of Americans do not have an estate plan at all. When there is no telling what tomorrow may bring, it makes now the best time to develop an estate plan. When you begin creating your estate plan, here are a few things you should be sure to include:
Wills and trusts
You may have heard that the state probate process will see to your estate administration and disperse your assets if you do not have a will. What you may not have heard is that this process can take months or years, and there is no guarantee that your desired beneficiaries will receive the inheritance you wish for them. Instead of leaving things to chance, specify how you want your estate to disperse by creating wills and trusts.
In the event of your sudden passing, you want to be sure someone you trust will raise your children when you are gone. Without appointing someone as their guardian, you risk your children finding a new home in the foster care system, with no guarantee they will find a new permanent home. Instead, you can choose a trusted and loved friend or family member to stand in your place after your passing by appointing them as a guardian.
Health care directives
An estate plan is not just for when you pass on, you can also use your health care directives to enforce your medical wishes. In the event that sudden illness or injury keeps you from acting or communicating on your behalf, your directive can specify your medical wishes like what operations and medicines you consent to, how long you wish to remain on life support or when you would consent to an amputation. These directives also remove the burden of making these choices for you from your loved ones.
Build your plan today
If you do not have an estate plan or have not updated it in some time, consult with an estate planning attorney today. They can help you create a plan or update an old one to account for everything, giving you the security net you need, when you need it.