Who needs to create a will and estate plan?

Every adult needs to have an estate plan in place as soon as possible. Not only does this help them to know that their affairs are in order, it also helps their family members to have a plan to follow when their loved one passes away.

Many people think that they have plenty of time to get their will and estate plan compiled; however, you never know when something will happen to you. Because you have to be in good mental health when you make your plan, something like a brain injury could render you unable to do so.

Will and trusts

The estate plan has many components to think about. The will and trusts pass your assets down to your loved ones. The will is public record, but trusts provide you with some measure of privacy in these matters. You may also have some assets that will be handed down to someone based on the payable on death designation. This is common with checking and other financial accounts.

Power of attorney

Another component is the power of attorney. You can set one for your finances and another for your health care. The people who have these powers can make decisions for you when you aren't able to yourself. You must ensure that you have someone you trust in both positions because you need to know that they will make decisions that are in your best interests.

Health care directive

You can also write out a health care directive, which is a document that provides your health care team with instructions about what you'd want to happen with your care if you were unable to relay your wishes. You can include any directives you want, but you need a specific Do Not Resuscitate order if you don't want those measures taken.

Guardianship

Parents of minor children also need to set up guardianship designations so that they have a say in who is going to raise the children if something happens to both parents. The person you choose for your child should be able to handle the duties and understand some of your beliefs so they can raise the child with that information in mind.

Creating your estate plan doesn't have to be difficult. Thinking about whom you'd like to name as recipients of your assets and planning for your final days might seem odd, but it can make a positive difference for your family members if you have everything in order when the time comes.

Free Health Care Directive with the purchase of a Simple Will

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