New Year’s Resolution: Plan Your Estate
When a new year comes along people tend to make resolutions. They resolve to finally take care of things that they had been putting on the back burner. With this in mind, make 2014 the year that you plan your estate if you are currently unprepared.
Cost of a Failure to Act
Estate planning is a unique type of planning. Usually, when you stick to a plan you are going to be the one who benefits from the outcome. With estate planning you make preparations for the well-being of people that you love. You won’t be around to experience the outcome.
Most people would say that they care about their family members more than anything. At the same time, many of these individuals have not executed all of the proper estate planning documents.
If you do not have an estate plan in place when you die, you will die intestate. The state will take over, and your property will be distributed using intestate succession laws. This can take a considerable amount of time, and people that you love may be disinherited.
There is also the matter of minor children. Young adults are especially remiss when it comes to estate planning. Most people under the age of 40 do not have an estate plan in place. Disturbingly, most parents of minor children would fit into this age group.
What would happen to a dependent child if his or her parents were to pass away together in an accident? This is not a very pleasant question to contemplate, but it is certainly something that every parent should consider.
When you go through life without an estate plan as the parent of minor children, you are both taking a major risk and doing your children a disservice. There should be a plan in place that would spring into action should the unthinkable take place.
Wills, Trusts & Advance Health Care Directives
Everyone should have a will or trust in place that directs the transfer of monetary resources. In addition, you should also consider the period of time that may precede your passing.
A living will and a durable power of attorney are advance health care directives that are recommended for everyone. With a living will you express your choices regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures in the event of your incapacitation.
A durable power of attorney is used to name an agent who would be empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to communicate them yourself.
The First Step
If you would like to put the procrastination behind you in 2014, consult with a licensed estate planning attorney. Your lawyer will become apprised of your objectives, gain an understanding of your unique personal situation, and make the appropriate recommendations. Let Zimmer Law Firm help you with these items. Contact our office at 513.721.1513.