A comprehensive estate plan is more than just a Last Will and Testament coupled with a trust. In includes important aspects that require careful planning for a long period of time. For instance, considering long-term medical care as part of your financial outlook and retirement planning is an important part of your estate plan because it can help safeguard assets and provide a source of financial support for your long-term needs so you can avoid draining assets from your estate to pay for unexpected costs. However, you should also consider planning for challenges like incapacity to ensure the integrity of your estate.
Tools for Planning
A durable power of attorney can help protect your rights and assets in the event of incapacitation. These documents nominate an individual to make important legal and financial decisions for you, especially in relation to your assets. The individual you nominate can work within the authority you provide them with to protect assets within your estate.
Likewise, a healthcare power of attorney is a critical part of planning for incapacity. These documents nominate an individual to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so for yourself. They can be designed to specifically detail your wishes, especially when combined with a living will that asserts your decisions regarding life-sustaining medical equipment and other important decisions related to your care.
It is important to include a HIPAA authorization form in your estate plan should the need for one arise. This is especially true when it comes to your health care power of attorney and living will because such nominations are often not enough to force medical care providers to provide intimate details regarding your medical condition to the individuals you nominate.
Revocable trusts are one of the most effective tools to plan for incapacity. When you establish a revocable trust and fund it with the assets you wish to assign to it, you still retain control over those assets. However, in the event of incapacitation, the trust will maintain the integrity of these assets for you. In this way, a trust can ensure that important bills are paid and other requirements are satisfied so that you do not risk losing those assets to creditors or through other means.
When it comes to estate planning, being prepared really is important. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can explore the many options available to you in creating your comprehensive estate plan. You can also find out various ways in which you can safeguard your assets and your estate plan, such as planning for long-term healthcare costs and planning for incapacity. Hopefully, the need for such planning never arises. However, if such a need does occur and you are not properly prepared, then you could put the integrity of your estate in danger.