No one likes thinking about what will happen when their health begins to decline or what that person’s loved ones will do following their death. Failure to engage in adequate planning now can leave your loved ones in an undesirable situation and can also greatly increase the chances that these individuals face anger and confusion after you pass away.
You can help to avoid these undesirable results by taking sufficient actions while you are still able to do so. To hopefully push you towards making the appropriate estate planning decisions, this article reviews some of the most critical estate planning decisions that you should make today.
# 1 – Appoint an Executor
An executor bears the responsibility of managing how an estate’s assets are distributed. This position does not require legal training. Instead, anyone can function in the role of executor. If you decide to appoint a non-professional to act as executor, you should make sure that this individual understands his or her responsibilities.
# 2 – Finalize the Terms of Your Will
Hopefully, you’ve created a will that specifically addresses how your assets will be passed on to your loved ones. While you likely have several reasons to hesitate in discussing these terms, you should not hesitate to engage in a conversation about the terms of your will with your loved ones.
# 3 – Protect Your Financial Interests
Many people prefer to keep financial details confidential. To make sure that the financial aspects of a person’s estate are adequately handled, however, there are some critical steps to consider taking. Some of these steps include:
- At some point, a financial power of attorney should be utilized to give control of a person’s finances to others in case a person suddenly becomes incapacitated and can no longer manage their affairs.
- Regardless of whether you use a trust or other financial arrangement to control and pass assets to heirs, you should have a conversation with your loved ones to make sure that they understand your decisions.
# 4 – Sufficiently Document Your Health Care Plans
If you fail to adequately express your healthcare objectives, your loved ones can end up making undesirable decisions about the type of care that you receive. Some of the ways that you can document what type of care you would like to receive include:
- Health care proxies are documents that appoint what individuals will act as health care representatives who make decisions about what care you should receive you become incapacitated.
- Living wills let a person specify what type of treatment options they prefer. These documents also let a person pick whether or not they would like life-sustaining measures taken if the individual ends up incapacitated.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is a complex but necessary part of making sure that your loved ones are placed in the best position possible if you suddenly become incapacitated or pass away. One of the best things that you can do to make sure you engage in sufficient planning is to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.