An Estate Plan: Don’t Leave Home Without it

Compliments of Our Law Firm,
Written By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys

Your bags are packed, the reservations have been made, and the kids are looking
forward to spending a week at grandma’s house…you and your spouse are ready for a
summer getaway. But before you leave for the airport, ask yourself if there’s one
plan you might have overlooked: your estate plan.

 
Without proper estate planning, a vacation mishap could spell disaster
for
you and those you leave at home. Here’s what an effective estate plan can
protect:

 

Your Health and Well-Being

 

What would happen if you became seriously ill or were injured during your
vacation? Who would make medical decisions for you? Who would take charge of your
finances? Without an incapacity plan, an unexpected medical emergency could
thrust your family into turmoil. A solid plan, however, could bring a measure of
calm and certainty to a difficult situation. Your incapacity plan should include
a Durable Financial Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive. These two
documents allow you to appoint an agent to manage your finances and your medical
decisions if you become incapacitated and unable to handle these things for
yourself.

 

Your Children’s Future

 

Proper planning also means making sure your family is taken care of in the
event of your death. If you have children who are minors (under age 18), this
means creating a Will. For parents of young children, the most important feature
of a Will is that it allows you to designate a guardian to care for your
children. In fact, a Will is the only legally effective means for communicating
your choice.

 

Your Financial Legacy

 

With your incapacity plan in place and your children’s guardian designated,
you’ll want to turn your attention to your financial legacy. A Living Trust is
the cornerstone of many people’s estate plan.

 

One of the many advantages of a Living Trust is that its property does not go
through probate when you die. Instead, the property controlled by your Trust can
be distributed by the person you’ve designated to act as your successor Trustee
without the need for court supervision. This specific advantage has the potential
to save your loved ones time and money.

 

A Living Trust allows you to dictate not only to whom your assets are
distributed, but also how and when they are distributed. This lets you tailor
your estate plan to offer added protection for circumstances like divorce,
remarriage, creditor claims, and financial inexperience of your heirs.

 

As vacation season begins, don’t forget to make an appointment with an
experienced estate planning attorney. With a solid plan in place, you’ll be ready
to relax and enjoy your getaway!

estate plan, incapacity, durable financial power
of attorney, health care directive, POA, children, Will, guardian, Living Trust,
divorce, remarriage, creditors,

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